I. What Are Illinois Telemedicine Policies?

Medicaid reimburses medical and mental health services provided through telehealth at the same rate as in-person services. Private insurance companies may or may not cover telehealth services.

MedicaidPrivate payersParity
Reimbursement for: Live video telemedicine and telepsychiatry.Reimbursement for: Coverage and reimbursement is up to individual insurance carriers.Illinois doesn’t currently have any parity law, so payers don’t have to cover telehealth services at all.

Parity Laws

Illinois doesn’t currently have any parity laws, so you aren’t protected on reimbursement for telehealth services. However, the state’s guidelines do require that you receive the same level of care you’d receive in person. Illinois Medicaid, provided through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, pays for live-video and telepsychiatry services at the same rates as face-to-face visits. Individual insurance carriers in Illinois decide whether they will cover telehealth services.

Medicaid covers a two-provider arrangement, which includes the originating facility, where the patient is, and the distant site, where the doctor rendering the service is located. Medicaid will reimburse out-of-state providers rendering service if they’re licensed in Illinois. The state is a member of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact.

Medicaid only reimburses for live-video telemedicine and telepsychiatry, but it will cover remote at-home uterine monitoring if you’re pregnant and meet specific criteria with prior approval. If a private insurance policy includes telehealth coverage, it must cover counseling from licensed dietitian nutritionists and certified diabetes educators in your own home if you’re a senior with diabetes.

Eligible Health Care Providers

Illinois Medicaid reimburses eligible live-video providers in telemedicine and telepsychiatry, which includes:

  • Federally qualified health centers
  • Physicians
  • Physician assistants
  • Advanced practice nurses
  • Psychiatrists
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Clinical social workers
  • Mental health professionals and clinicians legally authorized in Illinois to provide behavioral health services through telehealth

Medicaid also reimburses the originating site facility fees for eligible sites, including physician offices, local health departments, outpatient hospitals, and community mental health centers.

Online Prescriptions

Illinois doesn’t have any specific regulations on providing online prescriptions through telemedicine services. Online doctors in Illinois may use their interpretations as to whether they choose to prescribe medications via telemedicine, so you may not be able to obtain necessary medications through this service.

II. Find an Online Doctor in Illinois

Before you look for an online doctor, confirm with your insurance provider that your policy covers telehealth services. Then, do some background checking to ensure you’ll get the best care at a reasonable cost.

  • Research credentials: One of the most important background checks is confirming an online doctor or other health care provider is licensed and/or has the appropriate credentials. The State Medical Licensing Board offers licensure information through the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation, which provides you with the license number, issue date, expiration date, and status, and whether the licensee has ever been disciplined.
  • Determine your cost: If you have coverage through Medicaid, it reimburses telehealth services at the same rate as in-person services. Since Illinois doesn’t have parity laws, private insurance companies may not cover services, and policies may differ on your costs, so check on this first.
  • Read online doctor reviews: Online doctors may also have reviews posted on a variety of sites. While you shouldn’t choose a health care provider based solely on these reviews, they often provide insight into a provider’s reputation and whether they’ve had complaints from patients in the past.

III. Research Our Illinois Telemedicine Sources

Illinois is still working on expanding access to telehealth, including legislation to enact parity laws for medical and mental health telemedicine. Keep up with evolving telehealth laws in Illinois, including updates in Medicaid and private insurance carrier requirements, by visiting these websites.