During this public health emergency, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has temporarily relaxed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) laws. This means you have more options to connect online with your healthcare provider, including many popular video chat apps that aren’t normally available for virtual visits.
Most insurance companies are paying for virtual visits for COVID-19 positive diagnoses. Cleveland Clinic will also waive your financial responsibility for COVID-19-related virtual visits.
For non-COVID-19 positive diagnoses, some insurance companies are paying for virtual visits. Cleveland Clinic will only bill you for your financial responsibility after we have billed your insurance. Please note: Insurance companies are beginning to change their coverage of virtual visits for non-COVID-19-related symptoms, so it is best to confirm your benefits with your insurance company prior to care. Virtual visits are still an option for you, even if your insurance company does not cover it.
Below are options you can use for these scheduled virtual visits. The particular options may vary depending on your healthcare provider.
Preferred (secure) options:
- Facetime (iOS)
- Google Duo (Android and iOS)
- Hangouts (Android)*
- Skype (Android and iOS)*
- Facebook Messenger Video Chat*
* Only available for use with Ohio providers
** Only available for patients currently in Ohio
Please note: These additional options are “unsecure” third-party applications, which can potentially introduce privacy risks. Patients should enable all available encryption and privacy modes when using them. Not all of these choices may be available. Your provider will let you know what options are available and what arrangements you'll need for your appointment.
Need help getting started with a video visit?
Download our step-by-step guides to help you set up an account on of the third-party applications available for your upcoming scheduled virtual visit.