UHC, Cigna, Tricare Health Plans Expand Telepractice Coverage

Three major health plans—United HealthCare (UHC), Cigna, and Tricare—have expanded telepractice coverage for speech-language pathology services, potentially affecting more than 70 million American subscribers.

UHC’s coverage includes commercial plans, Medicaid managed care plans, and Medicare Advantage plans, which together cover about 45 million Americans.

ASHA has been building relationships with UHC for two years through ASHA’s Private Payer Summits and has been advocating for several weeks for telepractice coverage in the wake of COVID-19. UHC announced the coverage expansion Thursday, March 26, and also shared additional UHC guidance for speech-language pathology and therapy services.

Also in response to ASHA advocacy efforts, Cigna has expanded nationwide coverage for telepractice and Humana has announced Tricare coverage of telepractice in its eastern region. ASHA is seeking confirmation for the coverage that has been anecdotally extended to Tricare’s Western Region via Health Net Federal Services.

ASHA continues to advocate with Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for expanded Medicare telepractice coverage beyond the broader flexibility announced for Medicare Advantage plans.

Check for updates, including confirmed changes in telepractice coverage for Medicaid and private health plans, on ASHA’s Telepractice COVID-19 Updates page.

For questions about coverage and reimbursement, contact reimbursment@asha.org. For questions related to clinical practice, contact healthservices@asha.org.

For general ASHA resources for members related to COVID-19, visit ASHA’s website for the latest updates and resources.

Tim Nanof, MSW, is director of ASHA health care and education policy. tnanof@asha.org

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