Owens Co-Sponsors Bipartisan Bill to Expand Telehealth Access

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) joined Michelle Steel (CA-48) and Susie Lee (NV-3) to introduce the Telehealth Expansion Act, legislation that would make permanent a waiver created by the CARES Act to allow Americans with Health Savings Accounts (HSA) to access telehealth services without first having to meet their deductible.

The CARES Act, signed into law in March 2020, allowed HSA-qualified high-deductible health plans to cover telehealth services before reaching the deductible, and allowed individuals to choose and purchase the use of telehealth services outside their high-deductible health plan, without impacting their eligibility for an HSA. This change is valid under CARES until December 31, 2021. The Telehealth Expansion Act would make this change permanent.

“I’m proud to join my colleagues in support of the Telehealth Expansion Act, as millions of Americans have benefited from increased access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Owens. “This is an important issue for Utahns in my district and improving these vital resources to care for those who need it most should be a top priority for Congress.”

According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, over 50% of individuals with an HSA live in zip codes where the median income is below $75,000 annually. Reaching the deductible threshold of $1,400 / $2,800 can be a financial strain and making this provision permanent will support access to care and provide more clarity for companies during the open enrollment period.

The Telehealth Expansion Act is supported by ABA Health Savings Account Council, Alliance for Connected Care, American Telemedicine Association, Americans for Prosperity, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Business Group on Health, Health Innovation Alliance, Healthcare Leadership Council, Included Health, National Retail Federation, Noom, Partnership for Employer-Sponsored Coverage, Partnership to Advance Virtual Care, the ERISA Industry Committee, and Teladoc Health.

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