COVID Public Health Emergency (PHE) Likely to Continue Into October
It appears that the COVID-related Public Health Emergency (PHE) will be extended again. This time to October 2022. PHLP previously reported that the PHE would expire on July 15th. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has promised to provide a 60-day advance notice before ending the PHE. Because the administration had not announced an end to the PHE by May 16, 2022, we can expect a new extension will be announced before July 15 (likely much sooner).
The PHE was first declared on January 27th, 2020, at the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic. During the PHE, states, including Pennsylvania, have received additional federal funding in exchange for providing continuous Medicaid (also known as Medical Assistance) coverage for most individuals who were enrolled in Medicaid on or after March 18th, 2020, even if they did not renew their coverage or would normally no longer be eligible.
When the PHE ends, Pennsylvania will return to being able to terminate Medicaid coverage for people who do not meet eligibility criteria or do not complete their renewal. At that time, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has stated it will review enrollees who were kept on Medicaid due to the PHE. Coverage will continue until these individuals are reviewed, which DHS said will be within six months of the end of the PHE. As was the case prior to the PHE, renewals will be due within 30 days of receiving a renewal packet. Once reviewed, individuals may be terminated from Medicaid. If so, they will be able to appeal this decision by following the directions on the notice. If they appeal timely, they will not lose their coverage during this process.
If you are enrolled in Medicaid, it is important to update your contact information with the County Assistance Office so that you can receive their correspondence, including your renewal packet. You can do so on the COMPASS website, on the myCOMPASS PA mobile app, or by calling the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930 (in Philadelphia, call 215-560-7226). You will also have the option to sign up for text alerts.
PHLP will continue to keep consumers informed of any updates around the PHE as we learn them.