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New FMLA Guidance Includes Using Telemedicine as an In-Person Visit

FMLA guidance

1.5 minute read

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a Field Assistance Bulletin to provide guidance about using telemedicine to establish a serious health condition under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

FMLA can provide eligible employees with up to 12 work weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave each year. FMLA can be taken if an employee is dealing with their own serious health condition or that of a family member including illness, injury, physical or mental conditions or impairment. The serious health condition must include inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

In response to the COVID-19 public emergency, the DOL will consider a telemedicine visit with a health care provider an in-person visit if the visit:

  • Is generally performed via videoconference;
  • Is permitted and accepted by state licensing authorities; and
  • Include an examination, treatment, and evaluation by a health care provider.

Any communication methods that do not meet these criteria are insufficient by themselves and do not quality as an in-person visit.

Download the bulletin for more details.

This blog is intended to be a compilation of information and resources pulled from federal, state, and local agencies. This is not intended to be legal advice. For up to the minute information and guidance on COVID-19, please follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local health organizations.

National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Steve Smith, Employee Benefits Consultant for National Insurance Services, has his energy level permanently set at “high.” His maxim is “work hard, play hard.” Steve’s an expert in getting groups of people working together for a higher cause. Minnesota schools, cities, and counties rely on Steve’s unique and creative ideas of engaging employees in their own health and wellness to lower utilization trends. He has 20+ years in the health insurance field doing compliance, cost mitigation, utilization, analytics, wellness plans, and strategic planning. Steve is a licensed insurance agent and holds the designations for Managed Healthcare Professional (The Health Insurance Association of America), Certified Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Professional (National Association of Health Underwriters), and Group Benefits Disability Specialist (Hartford School of Insurance). He specializes in Employee Benefits Consulting for Minnesota schools, cities, and counties including fully insured, self-insured, and stop-loss plans.