"Financial burdens should not prevent Americans from seeing their primary care doctor to discuss critical health care needs," said Schneider. "The upfront costs of high-deductible health plans discourage too many Americans from getting the preventative care they need, leaving issues untreated and ultimately resulting in higher costs and poorer outcomes down the line. I appreciate
"I believe our American health care system should put a greater emphasis on keeping people healthier for longer, to improve the patient's quality of life while reducing their out of pocket costs. That's why I'm proud to co-lead the Primary & Virtual Care Affordability Act, which will encourage patients to further engage in preventative care. We must build off of the telehealth flexibilities that COVID-19 ushered in and ensure continued access to telehealth for patients in High Deductible Health Plans," said Wenstrup.
The use of HDHPs has drastically increased among individuals and employers in recent years. According to the
While HDHPs have low monthly premiums, they require the plan holder to pay 100% of most medical costs before insurance kicks in. Evidence shows that the high initial out-of-pocket costs often deter individuals from seeking necessary primary care services, a problem that can lead to worse health outcomes and much higher future healthcare costs.
The COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted the value of telehealth services. With hospitals over capacity and people confined to their homes to prevent the spread of COVID, more medical appointments had to be conducted virtually. In addition to being instrumental during the pandemic, telehealth can increase access to care in areas with provider shortages, and ensures that patients who can't travel are still able to see a doctor. By allowing HDHPs to waive the deductible for primary care and telehealth, this bill increases patient access and gives patients and clinicians the freedom to choose the right care.
"The Partnership to Advance Virtual Care thanks
"Broad access to virtual care is urgently important to helping people everywhere take control of their health - particularly in the aftermath of the public health emergency. Noom applauds
Telehealth has been a critical support for patients throughout the pandemic, and employers know the value of providing 1st-dollar coverage for this valuable service," said