Harris052416 2SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Napoleon Harris, III (D-Harvey) advanced his effort to ensure insurance companies adopt and expand telehealth services, with a particular focus on serving disadvantaged communities.  

“The pandemic has highlighted existing racial, economic, and geographic disparities that hinder access to medical treatment,” Harris said. “Creating uniform rules for insurance companies’ telehealth services could improve access for everyone, especially members of disproportionately impacted communities that have limited resources.”

House Bill 3308 would prohibit insurers that cover telehealth services from creating restrictions or requirements for these services. Instead, they would be treated the same as an in-person health visit for physical symptoms.

Telehealth services are an efficient way to provide people with remote access to quality health care services. Illinois residents who cannot leave their homes, particularly for fear of the COVID-19 pandemic, can stay home and still receive care from their dedicated physician.  

“As our world is becoming more digital, patients need to be able to access health care providers virtually,” Harris said. “Providing equitable access to health care for everyone is vital and must include expanding telehealth services.”   

The legislation helps minority residents who were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to receive telehealth services when Illinois returns to normalcy.  

On Sunday, House 3308 passed the Senate floor and now heads back to the House for concurrence.