Due the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO), declared a pandemic. In response, public health experts around the world have encouraged individuals and organizations to use of social distancing to "flatten the curve" in their communities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Because face-to-face appointments both risk the transmission of COVID-19 and use personal protective equipment that is in dire shortage, telehealth has emerged as an important alternative.
Telehealth, seeing a health provider using a video teleconferencing service, has been increasingly utilized over the past decade to deliver health care with both adults and children. Research demonstrates that telehealth interventions produce positive outcomes in reducing pain, disability, depression, and anxiety comparable to traditional face-to-face encounters.
Previor to the pandemic, uncertainty about the coverage of telehealth by insurance companies dissuaded many from utalizing telehealth. In response to the current pandemic, federal, state and insurance requlations have rapidly changed to allow easier access.
If you are currently experiencing increased levels of stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 outbreak, contact a health provider.
- Ask your them if they are offering teletherapy.
- If your therapist accepts insurance, ask if they are familiar with your insurer’s rules for reimbursing teletherapy.
- Call your insurer to see what options you have. You may need prior authorization in order for teletherapy services to be covered.
- Don’t give up! If you aren’t able to access teletherapy services due to decisions made by your insurer or therapist, consider asking again after some time has passed. Decisions about how to deliver care may be modified as the situation changes.
- If your insurer denies your request for prior authorization, consider filing an appeal.