CHICAGO (WREX) — Gov. JB Pritzker signed a law to increase access to telehealth services in Illinois. Telehealth became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic as health care providers adapted to the "new normal."
“The legislation I’ll sign today will solidify Illinois as a leader in telehealth access and expansion in the nation,” Gov. JB Pritzker said. “Illinois is now one of the first states in the nation to turn our emergency pandemic response into a permanent reality.”
In March 2020, the governor signed Executive Order 2020-09 which required insurance companies to reimburse health care providers for telehealth services at the same rates as in-person care. This expanded healthcare access for vulnerable populations, according to the state.
HB 3308, the bill signed by Gov. Pritzker on Thursday, now extends that payment parity for telehealth services through 2027.
The legislation prevents insurance plans from requiring a patient to attend an in-person visit before a telehealth service. It also expands the early intervention services that can be provided through telehealth. To protect confidentiality, the bill bars insurers from requiring patients to provide a reason. for choosing a telehealth visit over an in-person consult.
To ensure telehealth services continues to improve patient outcomes, the legislation commissions a study to be reported in 2026, which will examine the impact of telehealth on health equity and patient access to care.
HB 3308 goes into effect immediately.