SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Telehealth care for mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment would be covered by Medicaid under legislation led by state Rep. Jenn Ladisch Douglass, D-Elmhurst.
“Mental health and substance abuse treatment is very personal, and many individuals continue to benefit from the comfort and convenience telehealth care provides,” Ladisch Douglass said. “As the COVID-19 public health emergency expires, we must protect telehealth so that substance abuse and mental health providers can permanently use telehealth as a treatment option.”
Senate Bill 1913 requires Medicaid to treat telehealth appointments the same as in-person appointments as it relates to service utilization requirements, cost-sharing amounts, and reimbursement amounts for health care professionals. The bill also requires telehealth services to be available without any barriers, such as requiring an in-person appointment before a telehealth service is available or imposing more stringent requirements to qualify for telehealth services than for an in-person service.
“It’s no secret that there’s a mental health crisis in this country, and Illinois is no exception to this trend. Telehealth care makes mental health and substance abuse treatment more affordable and accessible, which is essential to the health and wellbeing of so many across the state,” Ladisch Douglass said. “Telehealth for mental health and substance abuse treatment should be treated the same as in-person care under the Medicaid Code, and this bill enshrines that principle in law. We must protect access to telehealth for these purposes to benefit the wellbeing of people across the state.”
Senate Bill 1913 passed out of the House Appropriations-Health and Human Services Committee with unanimous bipartisan support. It now heads to the House floor for consideration. For more information on Ladisch Douglass’ legislative agenda, please visit www.ilga.gov.