Vermont has passed a bill to expand the use of telemedicine as part of improving access to health care for those living in rural parts of the state.

The law increases communication between healthcare providers and patients, and provides clear parameters for obtaining informed oral or written consent for the use of the technology.

The new legislation requires that all insurers, including Medicaid, cover telemedicine services to the same extent that they would be covered if provided in person. S.50 will take effect on October 1, 2017, and will apply to all health insurance plans in the state, including new health insurance plans offered on the Exchange.