FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — For Arkansas residents, the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency means many restrictions to telehealth could come back.

The Arkansas Center for Health Improvement CEO Dr. Joe Thompson says COVID-19 accelerated telehealth by a decade since many were forced to visit doctors virtually instead of in person.

Until November, he says the rules opened up by the public health emergency have been temporarily extended in Arkansas.

Thompson says this will allow new guidances to be made. He expects insurance companies to use this time to lessen coverage plans on telehealth visits as well.

“Depending on what the service is or who your health insurance is with, there will be variations upon what you can use when you can use it and how much you might have to actually pay out of pocket,” Thompson said.

Thompson says one restriction could make a comeback. Telehealth doctors could no longer be able to prescribe certain medications without an in-person visit first.

He suggests checking with your insurance provider to see if any changes have been made to your telemedicine coverage.