If you have been following the news you may have learned that recently President Biden told Congress that he intends to end the current Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 on May 11, 2023. Back in January 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services first declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency. Since that time the order has been renewed 13 times.
The order has done things such as providing ongoing federal funding for free vaccines, testing, and treatment of COVID-19. It has also waived some of the requirements for Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage as well as making telemedicine more accessible.
With the public health emergency coming to an end on May 11, the responsibility for COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and treatment will technically shift to individuals and their health insurance companies.
Additionally, the special waivers for Medicaid and Medicare requirements that have been in place throughout the pandemic will also come to an end when the public health emergency expires. This is significant because some people who have been covered by Medicaid during the emergency may no longer be eligible once the Public Health Emergency ends.
The good news is that the end of the Public Health Emergency doesn’t impact access to free vaccines. According to KFF (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation) “The availability, access, and costs of COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, are determined by the supply of federally purchased vaccines, not the public health emergency. As long as federally purchased vaccines last, COVID-19 vaccines will remain free to all people, regardless of insurance coverage.”
You may be wondering how you can prepare for these changes and what this will mean for you. Right now, the best thing you can do is to check that your contact information for your health insurance provider is up-to-date. This includes private insurance, and programs such as Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare. This will help ensure you receive current information and notices about your Health Insurance coverage. Because MassHealth, which provides Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), will need to renew coverage for all members to make sure they are still eligible and are receiving the benefits they qualify for, it’s important for members of MassHealth to update their information so that they are receiving notices.
During this time of transition, VEAP is here to provide updates as we obtain the latest information. Below is a link for MassHealth where members can make any necessary changes to their contact information. We’ve also included a link to a video from MassHealth discussing the importance of updating your information.
For more resources on the Public Health Emergency Transition visit:
Wondering where to get vaccinated?
Visit our website for up-to-date information on local vaccine clinics: Upcoming Everett and Malden Vaccine Clinics
Text your zip code to 438829