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TRICARE COVID-19 Coverage Policy Expands Telehealth/Telephone Coverage

Expansion of Telehealth for Tricare

Published Thursday, June 18, 2020

 

TRICARE COVID-19 Coverage Policy Expands Telehealth/Telephone Coverage
 

In mid-May the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (ASD(HA)) issued an interim final rule that addresses the use of telehealth in the TRICARE program with the goal of reducing the spread of COVID-19 among TRICARE beneficiaries.  Specifically, it provides a temporary exception to the program’s prohibition on telephone, audio-only telehealth services when appropriate and video capabilities are not possible; authorizes reimbursement for interstate or international practice by TRICARE-authorized providers when in compliance with governing state, federal, or host nation licensing requirements; and eliminates copayments and cost-sharing for telehealth services.  Services must be considered medically necessary and conducted by a network TRICARE provider within their scope of professional practice.  The changes in the rule would be effective for the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The new policy applies to any illness or injury covered by TRICARE, including but not limited to COVID-19.  To learn more, see the full text of the rule.