Will My Insurance Cover Online Dermatology Visits?

April 23, 2020

Man speak to physician about insurance for telehealth

At U.S. Dermatology Partners, offering quality services that are accessible to those who need them is our top priority. Our practices have team members who are dedicated to helping patients maximize their insurance coverage to fit out of pocket costs into their budgets. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our practices across the U.S. have made every effort to create a safer environment for our patients, clinicians, and communities. In an attempt to alleviate the risk of spreading COVID-19, we have introduced alternative waiting rooms, a patient and caregiver screening process, and more strenuous cleaning and sanitation procedures. Additionally, we are recommending patients utilize telehealth sessions instead of in-office appointments whenever possible to eliminate unnecessary contact. Many of our patients are worried that telehealth sessions won’t be covered by their insurance plans, but the vast majority of providers are offering benefits for teledermatology even if they didn’t include this coverage before the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find out more about what you may expect regarding insurance for telehealth sessions in this blog or by calling your local U.S. Dermatology Partners location.

Available Insurance Coverage for TeleHealth Plans

The main question that insurance providers ask to determine whether or not to offer medical benefits is simple, “Is this medically necessary?” There is a lot more to it than that, but this question is usually a key determining factor. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth, online doctor’s visits, that were once considered a convenience are now a necessity to protect the health and safety of patients. For this reason, Medicare decided to offer coverage for telemedicine, and in the past month, many other insurers have followed suit. Because insurance providers are updating or expanding their telemedicine coverage every day, we will ask you to provide us with your most recent insurance information before the visit, so we can submit it to your insurance for reimbursement. Even if these services are not typically covered at the same rate as in-office sessions or at all, many insurance providers are accepting claims due to the pandemic.

Our Insurance Providers

U.S. Dermatology Partners offices regularly accept insurance benefits from a range of providers. As more practitioners transition to telehealth solutions, insurance plans are quickly adjusting to meet this new need. If you don’t see your insurer here, please contact our team or your insurance provider to find out more. The following insurers are currently covering teledermatology visits:

  • WellMed
  • Tricare
  • Scott & White Health Plan
  • Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance
  • Baylor Scott & White Health
  • Coventry Health Care
  • Care N Care
  • Medicare
  • Aetna
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • Humana
  • BlueCross BlueShield
  • Cigna
  • MultiPlan

Billing for TeleHealth

Because so many insurers are offering new coverage for telemedicine, we will follow our regular billing procedures under the assumption your insurer may cover the teledermatology appointment. Specifically, at the time of your virtual dermatology visit, we will collect your regular office visit co-pay. Any additional fees will be billed as necessary after we receive payment from your insurance provider. If you’re concerned that the teledermatology visit won’t be covered please call your insurance company before scheduling a visit.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your insurer may be providing additional benefits to include telehealth that may not have been available previously. We’ll do our best to help you learn more about your available benefits. You can also contact your insurer directly to discuss coverage options for teledermatology.

We are happy to take payment for online visits in the form of credit or debit card charges. We can also accept payment through health savings accounts (HSA) and flexible spending accounts (FSA) in most cases.

Eligible Coverage Areas

In addition to insurance companies who are quickly trying to respond to the growing need for telehealth coverage, some state and national regulations are being adjusted when it comes to the areas where physicians are licensed to work. We are hopeful that our dermatologists will be able to provide teledermatology visits for an even larger number of states soon, so please check back regularly for updates.

Currently, we can provide telehealth sessions in the following states: Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Virginia, and Maryland.

Benefits of Telehealth for COVID-19 & Beyond

During the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, the use of teledermatology sessions can change the way we offer care for U.S. Dermatology Partners patients. Some of the many benefits of visiting us via our secure telehealth video chat platforms include:

  • Save time – No need to take off work or even leave home for a visit. Simply find a private place to talk with your doctor for a few minutes. Then, get right back to your daily routine.
  • Stay in touch – It can be hard to stay in touch during ongoing treatments or fit regular visits for chronic conditions into your schedule. Teledermatology makes regular follow-ups easier and more convenient. This is an easy solution for individuals who need regular appointments to discuss treatment and medication management for chronic conditions like psoriasis or acne.
  • Fast feedback – If you have a new growth, changing moles, or other concerns, a video chat can put your mind at ease right away, and it may save you a trip to the office.
  • Safety – Especially during the current situation, those with compromised immune systems need to stay at home where they are safe. But even beyond COVID-19, online dermatology sessions can be a good option for patients who may be at increased risk for infection and other complications.

Get Started with U.S. Dermatology Partners

If you’re new to online medical appointments, rest assured that many of our clinicians and patients are in the same boat, but we are working hard to make the process easy and stress-free for every patient who chooses to schedule a teledermatology appointment with U.S. Dermatology Partners. We have team members who are ready to answer your questions, walk you through the process for using our online video session platforms, and find an appointment time that fits your schedule. We can also discuss your insurance coverage and how we can help you find out about available benefits. When you’re ready to schedule an online session, you can get started quickly by filling out our online request form. Then, one of our team members will be in touch to schedule your appointment soon.

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