Code Section

Insurance Code - INS

DIVISION 2. CLASSES OF INSURANCE [1880 - 12880.6]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )
  

PART 2. LIFE AND DISABILITY INSURANCE [10110 - 11549]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )
  

CHAPTER 1. The Contract [10110 - 10198.10]

  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )
  

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [10110 - 10127.19]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )

  
10123.855.  

(a) (1) A contract issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2021, between a health insurer and a health care provider for an alternative rate of payment pursuant to Section 10133 shall specify that the health insurer shall reimburse the treating or consulting health care provider for the diagnosis, consultation, or treatment of an insured or policyholder appropriately delivered through telehealth services on the same basis and to the same extent that the health insurer is responsible for reimbursement for the same service through in-person diagnosis, consultation, or treatment.

(2) This section does not limit the ability of a health insurer and a health care provider to negotiate the rate of reimbursement for a health care service provided pursuant to a contract subject to this section. Services that are the same, as determined by the provider’s description of the service on the claim, shall be reimbursed at the same rate whether provided in person or through telehealth. When negotiating a rate of reimbursement for telehealth services for which no in-person equivalent exists, a health insurer and the provider shall ensure the rate is consistent with subdivision (a) of Section 10123.137.

(b) (1) A policy of health insurance issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2021, that provides benefits through contracts with providers at alternative rates of payment shall specify that the health insurer shall provide coverage for health care services appropriately delivered through telehealth services on the same basis and to the same extent that the health insurer is responsible for coverage for the same service through in-person diagnosis, consultation, or treatment. Coverage shall not be limited only to services delivered by select third-party corporate telehealth providers.

(2) This section does not alter the existing statutory or regulatory obligations of a health insurer to ensure that insureds have access to all covered services through an adequate network of contracted providers, as required by Sections 10133 and 10133.5 and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

(3) This section does not require a health insurer to deliver health care services through telehealth services.

(4) This section does not require a health insurer to cover telehealth services provided by an out-of-network provider, unless coverage is required under other provisions of law.

(c) A health insurer may offer a policy containing a copayment or coinsurance requirement for a health care service delivered through telehealth services, provided that the copayment or coinsurance does not exceed the copayment or coinsurance applicable if the same services were delivered through in-person diagnosis, consultation, or treatment. This subdivision does not require cost sharing for services provided through telehealth.

(d) Services provided through telehealth and covered pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to the same deductible and annual or lifetime dollar maximum as equivalent services that are not provided through telehealth.

(e) The definitions in subdivision (a) of Section 2290.5 of the Business and Professions Code apply to this section.

(Added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 867, Sec. 5. (AB 744) Effective January 1, 2020.)