Title 27
Insurance

Chapter 81
The Telemedicine Coverage Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-81-4

§ 27-81-4. Coverage of telemedicine services.

(a) Each health insurer that issues individual or group accident and sickness insurance policies for healthcare services and/or provides a healthcare plan for healthcare services shall provide coverage for the cost of such covered healthcare services provided through telemedicine services, as provided in this section.

(b)(1) A health insurer shall not exclude a healthcare service for coverage solely because the healthcare service is provided through telemedicine and is not provided through in-person consultation or contact, so long as such healthcare services are medically necessary and clinically appropriate to be provided through telemedicine services.

(2) All medically necessary and clinically appropriate telemedicine services delivered by in-network primary care providers, registered dietitian nutritionists, and behavioral health providers shall be reimbursed at rates not lower than services delivered by the same provider through in-person methods.

(c) Benefit plans offered by a health insurer shall not impose a deductible, copayment, or coinsurance requirement for a healthcare service delivered through telemedicine in excess of what would normally be charged for the same healthcare service when performed in person.

(d) Prior authorization requirements for medically necessary and clinically appropriate telemedicine services shall not be more stringent than prior authorization requirements for in-person care. No more stringent medical or benefit determination and utilization review requirements shall be imposed on any telemedicine service than is imposed upon the same service when performed in person.

(e) Except for requiring compliance with applicable state and federal laws, regulations and/or guidance, no health insurer shall impose any specific requirements as to the technologies used to deliver medically necessary and clinically appropriate telemedicine services.

(f) The requirements of this section shall apply to all policies and health plans issued, reissued, or delivered in the state of Rhode Island on and after January 1, 2018.

(g) This chapter shall not apply to: short-term travel, accident-only, limited or specified disease; or individual conversion policies or health plans; nor to policies or health plans designed for issuance to persons eligible for coverage under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, known as Medicare; or any other similar coverage under state or federal governmental plans.

History of Section.
P.L. 2016, ch. 177, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 188, § 1; P.L. 2021, ch. 184, § 1, effective July 6, 2021; P.L. 2021, ch. 199, § 1, effective July 6, 2021.