ALLIANCE TO FIGHT FOR HEALTH CARE
Alliance to Fight for Health Care coordinates stakeholder letter urging Congress to keep telehealth affordable for working families
On November 15, 2022, more than 350 companies and organizations including public and private sector employers, nonprofits, chambers of commerce, patient advocacy groups, insurers, brokers, unions, and multinational companies signed a letter urging Congress to extend the telehealth provision that allows employers the flexibility to offer telehealth services below the deductible to employees with a Health Savings Account (HSA). There is bipartisan, bicameral support in Congress to continue this flexibility (H.R. 5981/S. 1704).
The letter, signed by 358 stakeholders and organized by the Alliance to Fight for Health Care, reminds congressional leaders that “this popular provision expires at the end of this year. Without legislative action, employers will be required to charge employees more to access telehealth services, creating a barrier to care, including telemental health. Unfortunately, more Americans need access to affordable mental and behavioral health services, not less.”
“Protecting access to affordable telehealth to address mental health care needs is critical,” said James A. Klein, president of the American Benefits Council. “People value, and now rely upon, access to affordable telehealth services. With health plans in place for 2023, this provision must be extended before the end of the year. Health care coverage is planned prospectively and is already in place for 2023. It can’t be adjusted retroactively.”
The letter notes, “the support for affordable telehealth and telemental health is strong. Allowing employers and health plans to continue offering these important services pre-deductible improves affordability and expands access. … We laud the bipartisan cosponsors for their work and look forward to working with you to ensure that this important flexibility does not expire.”
March 9, 2022 Telehealth Update
The Alliance to Fight for Health Care commends Congress for working to keep telehealth—particularly, telemental health— services affordable for workers by extending the CARES Act telehealth flexibility in their Omnibus funding package. We look forward to seeing this provision enacted to give workers and their families the peace of mind that they can seek the telemental health care they need. As data about the importance of this flexibility mounts, we urge Congress to make this policy permanent.
The Alliance to Fight for Health Care supports the Telehealth Expansion Act of 2021 (S. 1704/H.R. 5981), legislation to ensure that people can continue to access affordable telehealth services if they have a health savings account. According to a Morning Consult National Tracking Poll sponsored by the Alliance, seven in ten insured adults (71%) feel it is important that they are able to access telehealth services under their current health care plan and 89% rated their or their family member’s previous telehealth visit(s) as good or excellent. With this important flexibility set to expire December 31st 2021, Congress must act now to keep telehealth affordable.
THE ALLIANCE TO FIGHT
FOR HEALTH CARE
Fighting for Your Health Care
The Alliance to Fight for Health Care is a broad-based coalition comprised of businesses, patient advocates, employer organizations, unions, health care companies, consumer groups and other stakeholders that support employer-provided health coverage. Together, we are working to ensure that employer-provided coverage remains an available and affordable option for working Americans and their families. The coalition, previously working as the Alliance to Fight the 40, led the successful effort to repeal the so-called 40% “Cadillac Tax” on health care coverage.
“The Alliance’s goal is to advance public policy that makes health care more affordable, strengthens job-based coverage and supports continued innovation that delivers value to working families.”