Audio Only and Commercial Insurers

October 4, 2021

Here’s the response I received from DFS (I sent them what I sent to all members a few moments ago re:  health plans having to pay for audio-only services – see below):

“You are correct that we did propose the regulation for permanent adoption in September.  Unless and until that regulation is permanently adopted (the public comment period expires 11/22/21), in order to keep the same policy in effect for audio-only telehealth, an emergency regulation needed to remain in place since the emergency regulation was expiring.    In furtherance of that, on Friday 10/1/21, we filed the emergency 62nd amendment to Insurance Regulation 62.  This emergency regulation will now expire on December 29, 2021. “

On 9/22/21, the New York State Register included a Department of Financial Services (DFS) Proposed Rulemaking addressing a requirement for commercial health plans to reimburse providers for audio-only services.  Before this happened, the DFS requirement was set to expire on 10/3, but because DFS updated itself and published a Proposed Rule on 9/22 that includes a 60-day comment period, the requirement for the plans to pay for these services is extended 60 days or until November 20ish (60 days from 9/22) after which time the requirement can either be extended, amended or withdrawn.