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The COVID Emergency in the U.S. Ends May 11



The COVID Emergency in the U.S. Ends May 11

(CTN News) – Health and Human Services outlined what will change and what won’t when the Covid public health emergency ends in May.

On Thursday, Xavier Becerra told the governors that he’s renewing the declaration again, but it expires on May 11. Last week, the White House told Congress about these plans.

When the emergency ended, HHS officials told reporters what to expect.

Immediate changes:

  • Depending on their plan, people with private health insurance might have to pay for Covid tests, both over-the-counter and lab.

  • Over-the-counter tests will be covered by Medicare Part B, but lab tests won’t.

  • In response to surges, hospitals won’t be able to expand their capacity.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can’t require labs to report Covid test results.

Longer-term changes

  • There will be no cost to anyone for Covid vaccines and antivirals like Paxlovid until the current federal stockpile runs out.

  • As part of the federal spending legislation passed in December, expanded telehealth through Medicare will stay in place until December 2024. After that, it’ll end without Congress.

The Food and Drug Administration can still approve Covid vaccines, tests, and treatments through its separate emergency powers.

The federal protections that kept people covered during the pandemic are ending this year, so millions could lose Medicaid coverage. These protections were previously tied to public health emergencies, but Congress decided to phase them separately.

States can kick people off Medicaid early in April if they don’t meet eligibility requirements. As part of the Affordable Care Act, HHS will open a special enrollment period for these people.

Even when the public health emergency is over, everyone will still be able to get free Covid vaccinations and treatments, but when the government stockpile runs out, this may not be the case for those without insurance.

As early as this autumn, the Biden administration intends to discontinue purchasing medications and immunizations for the general population, partly because Congress has not authorized more cash. The private sector will acquire and provide vaccines and treatments when the federal government leaves.

Therefore, whether you pay depends on whether you have insurance. Pfizer and Moderna will sell the injections to healthcare professionals directly.

Vaccines will still be free to those with Medicare and Affordable Care Act insurance. Medicaid recipients will get the vaccinations without charge until September 2024, after which state-by-state coverage will apply.

When the stockpile runs out, adults without insurance will probably have to pay for the doses, but the White House has said it is creating arrangements to assist them.

Related CTN News:

U.S. House Passes bill to End Foreign Air Traveler COVID Vaccine Requirement

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