June 06, 2024


When the health care system was hit by COVID-19, providers, employers, and insurers immediately recognized the necessity of adapting to a new landscape. This need for transformation led to an embrace of telehealth services – or virtual engagements with health practitioners – to ensure that individuals and families could continue to receive safe and effective health care.

While most pandemic restrictions are a thing of the past, telehealth persists as a valued resource and a key component of the American health care system.  An effort in Congress has recently made clear that policymakers understand the value of telehealth care, with two house committees unanimously approving legislation to extend pandemic-era Medicare telehealth flexibilities for two years, bringing it one step closer to a full vote in the House. These actions affirm the significant value of telehealth services to Americans and their families.

Protecting Americans’ Coverage Together (PACT), a coalition of employer voices committed to strengthening employer-provided coverage for the 160 million Americans that rely on it, commends the House’s action to advance robust telehealth provisions. American employers know firsthand the benefits that more accessible and expansive telehealth services can bring to their workforce, and that’s why PACT is urging lawmakers to embrace solutions that emphasize the powerful role of virtual medicine.

Telehealth is particularly important in offering and administering mental health care. Earlier this year, PACT shared a set of policy recommendations with Congress that include an emphasis on telehealth as a solution to addressing the rising demand for mental health services in America.  Federal support for telehealth extensions would reinforce employer efforts to provide their employees with mental health services that go beyond traditional, in-person medical visits.

The extension of telehealth services will encourage greater availability of health care services, remove constraints for both providers and patients, and facilitate access to a greater network of services. PACT applauds the commitment by Congress to strengthen American telehealth services and looks forward to collaborating with lawmakers as they consider legislation to expand these critical flexibilities.