The Federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) will end on May 11, 2023. At the federal level the PHE provides greater flexibility around contracting and grant requirements, waivers of program requirements, enhanced reimbursement, limits liability, adds temporary new authorities to enable the government to respond to the emergency. Ending the PHE eliminates those flexibilities and returns to many of the federal program rules, insurance system requirements, and other related program requirements that were in place before the PHE.
PHE: COVID-19 Vaccines and Oral Antivirals
- Vaccines and oral anti-viral therapeutic treatments will continue to be purchased and distributed free of charge until available resources are depleted.
- Copays for COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be prohibited through agreements that providers sign to receive the free federal supply of vaccines.
- It is unlikely that further funding will be made available at the federal level.
- Commercialization begins when federal supplies are gone.
- People with insurance: will pay nothing out of pocket for COVID vaccines, will likely have cost-sharing for therapeutics.
- People without insurance: likely to have out of pocket costs for vaccine & therapeutics.
PHE: Testing Changes
- The requirement for private insurance companies to cover COVID-19 tests without cost sharing, both for over the counter (OTC) and laboratory tests, will end.
- The requirement that insurance plans cover eight tests, per person, per month will end.
- Insured people may be subject to cost-sharing requirements for COVID-19 tests, depending upon their insurance plan coverage.
PHE: No Change for Telehealth & EUA’s
- Flexibilities were extended through Dec. 31, 2024.
- Emergency Use Authorities (EUAs) COVID – 19 HIGHER EDUCATION UPDATE 0 2 – 1 6 – 2022 8 of 12
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s EUAs for COVID-19 products (including tests, vaccines, and treatments) will remain in effect and are not impacted by the end of the PHE.
PHE: Medicaid Unwinding
- States resumed annual Medicaid eligibility reviews April 1.
- During the PHE, Medicaid agencies stopped the required continuous review of eligibility of Medicaid beneficiaries.
- Minnesota began the unwind process in April 2023 and plans to complete it by May 31, 2024.
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- Eligibility Renewals
Finally, the COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection against hospitalization and severe cases. People 6 months and older should get an updated bivalent booster dose at least two months after their primary series or last booster shot. Find a location to obtain your up-to-date vaccine here. You may also search for appointments by vaccine type here.