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Should Health Insurance Pay For Telemedicine Visits?

OPB | Dec. 19, 2013 12:40 p.m. | Updated: Dec. 19, 2013 3:45 p.m.

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Telemedicine is one of the many healthcare issues that lawmakers will be digging into during the February legislative session. Northwest-based ZoomCare is arguing that insurers should be required to pay for telemedical visits, just as they would for an in-person trip to the doctor. The company with the tagline “healthcare on demand” operates neighborhood clinics and offers virtual appointments — called “TakeOut Online Visits” — to diagnose a host of health conditions.

Telemedicine can be defined quite broadly to include not only doctor’s visits via Skype, but email exchanges between doctors and patients. This could make some insurance companies nervous about writing coverage for telemedicine into the law.

Do you have experience with telemedicine? Would it make a difference for you if it was covered by insurance?

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