Telehealth Practice for Illinois-Licensed Counselors
With the increased use of telehealth services by Americans, counselors have learned to incorporate telehealth services into their practice with clients. With practitioners and clients alike becoming more mobile, clarity around telehealth practice across state lines has become essential in having continuity of care between patient and counselor.
Below is a compilation of commonly asked questions pertaining to whether telehealth services can be provided if the counselor or client leaves Illinois. We've also created a helpful flowchart graphic (see right) to help clarify whether you can utilize telehealth services if you or your client go to a different state.
Please note that this information only addresses questions for counselors who are licensed in Illinois; for those who are licensed elsewhere, you will need to check with that state’s regulatory board. For more information, scroll down to the “More Resources” section of this article.
Find out whether you can utilize telehealth services if you or your client leaves Illinois
NOTE: The below information does not apply to governmental workers who may have agreements that allow telehealth across state lines—please refer to federal agreements if you work for a federal agency. This document does not apply to current waivers regarding Medicaid.
I’M A COUNSELOR LICENSED IN ILLINOIS. Can I use telehealth services to see my client if…
…my client is in Illinois?
Yes. A health care professional may engage in the practice of telehealth services in Illinois to the extent of their scope of practice as established in his or her respective licensing Act consistent with the standards of care for in-person services.
…I’m (temporarily) going to another state, but my client remains in Illinois?
According to the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR), counselors who are licensed in Illinois may continue to see clients via telehealth if they, the practitioner, are visiting a different state. For further questions on what is and isn’t allowed by IDFPR with regards to practice, contact IDFPR.
…I’m in Illinois but my client is (temporarily) going to another state where I am not also licensed?
Depends. Each state is different regarding whether or not they allow counselors licensed in another state to see their clients who are physically in a state the counselor is not licensed in. Some states allow limited telehealth services to be provided, others require temporary licenses with the state. You must reach out to the licensing board of the state your client is visiting to determine that state’s requirements.
…my client remains in Illinois, but I move to another state while retaining my Illinois license?
Yes. Illinois requires you to be licensed in the state where your client is physically located but it does not require you to be physically present in the state of Illinois to practice telehealth.
I’M A COUNSELOR LICENSED IN ANOTHER STATE. Can I use telehealth services to see my client…
…if they are temporarily coming to Illinois?
NEW! While out-of-state counselors cannot yet utilize telehealth services to see clients temporarily visiting Illinois, they may do so beginning January 1, 2023, thanks to the governor signing House Bill 4797 into law on May 13, 2022. Beginning January 1, 2023, the law will allow for a short-term visitor to Illinois to continue telehealth services with their home state therapist so long as they: 1) have a pre-existing therapeutic relationship with a therapist; 2) their therapist is licensed to practice in their home state; and 3) they cap the total sessions allowed in a year to 15 sessions with no more than 5 sessions occurring in any month. The bill also allows for non-resident college students to continue to see their counselor from their home state so long as they have a pre-existing therapeutic relationship with that counselor and that the student is currently enrolled in an Illinois college or university.
…if they are permanently coming to Illinois?
No. In Illinois, only counselors who are licensed in Illinois may see residents who permanently reside in Illinois. To find out how to transfer your license to Illinois through the endorsement process, click here.
OTHER RELATED QUESTIONS
Does Illinois have telehealth pay parity?
Yes. An individual or group policy of accident or health insurance shall reimburse an in-network health care professional or facility, including a health care professional or facility in a tiered network, for telehealth services provided through an interactive telecommunications system on the same basis in the same manner that would apply to the services if the services had been delivered via an in-person encounter by an in-network or tiered network health care professional or facility.
This applies only to those services provided by telehealth that may otherwise be billed as an in-person service.
What limits are placed on health insurance companies in Illinois?
An individual or group policy of accident or health insurance shall not: