HB 149 – Improving Access to Care Through Telehealth

Primary House Sponsors: Rep. Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth); Rep. Donna White (R-Johnston); Rep. Larry Potts (R-Davidson); Rep. Kristin Baker (R-Cabarrus)



This bill would require health benefit plan coverage for the delivery of health care services through telehealth. This bill:

  • Defines telehealth as the delivery of health care services by a health care provider who is licensed in the State through (1) an encounter conducted through real-time interactive audio and video technology, (2) store and forward services that are provided by asynchronous technologies as the standard practice of care where medical information is sent to a provider for evaluation, or (3) a communication in which the provider has access to the patient’s medical history prior to the telehealth encounter.
  • Excludes the delivery of services solely through email, text chat, or audio communication from the definition of telehealth unless additional medical history and clinical information is communicated electronically between the provider and patient.
  • Requires health benefit plans to cover health care services provided via telehealth, specifically including reimbursement for patient monitoring using telehealth.
  • Requires health benefit plans to reimburse for provider-to-provider consultations conducted via telehealth if the plan would provide reimbursement for a face-to-face consult.
  • Allows plans to require a deductible, copayment, or coinsurance for a health service/procedure offered via telehealth but notes the amount cannot exceed the amount required if the service had been provided in person.
  • Prevents plans from requiring prior authorization for the delivery of health care services via telehealth if prior authorization would not be required if the service had taken place in person.
  • Prohibits plans from placing limits on the originating site or the distant site for the delivery of health care through telehealth.
  • Prohibits the use of telehealth for any health care services related to an abortion, including a medication abortion, except in the case of an emergency therapeutic abortion.


Filed – 2/24/2021

This bill was referred to the following House Committees:



-Rules, Calendar, and Operations