If you found telehealth visits with your doctors helpful after the pandemic started, there’s no need to give them up, at least for now. In December 2022, Congress extended Medicare coverage of telehealth visits through the end of 2024. Coverage was initially granted as a temporary emergency measure due to the need for social distancing. The service has since been deemed so useful that you’ll be able to continue arranging phone or video calls with your doctor in lieu of in-person appointments, and Medicare will keep covering them as it would for in-person visits for two more years. Medicare will also extend payment for telehealth visits with occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists. Private insurance companies are expected to follow Medicare’s lead and continue paying for telehealth visits during this extension period.
But keep in mind that telehealth visits aren’t appropriate for every health situation. "More often than not, your first visit with a doctor has a greater impact if done in person, especially if the doctor needs to carry out certain physical exam steps, such as listening to your heart or manipulating a joint," says Dr. Joseph Kvedar, a Harvard dermatologist and a member of the American Telemedicine Association board of directors.
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