Coverage For Mental Health Via Telemedicine Soars At U.S. Employers

Insurance coverage of mental health services via telehealth technology is surging to unprecedented levels amid an opioid abuse epidemic and increased access to behavioral healthcare generally, a new report and telemedicine companies say.

The National Business Group on Health said 56% of employers in 2018 plan to offer telehealth for behavioral health services as a covered benefit . That’s more than double the percentage of employers offering telehealth mental health services this year, NBGH says in its new annual health benefits survey.

The trend of large employers offering such access comes following a push in recent years by providers of such services, including American Well, MDLive, Quartet and Teladoc. These firms provide technology and related access to psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists via smart phone, tablet and computer as the nation grapples with a rising rate of suicides, opioid addiction and other mental health issues. Opioid abuse is of particular concern to employe