WASHINGTON, DC – February 1, 2022 – It’s been three years since the U.S. public health (PH) emergency was announced for the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, more Americans have health care coverage, food assistance and access to coronavirus tests and vaccines. These executive actions have been continuously renewed until May 11th when they will expire and not be renewed.
What is going to happen to these provisions:
COVID tests, treatments and vaccines:
During the PH emergency. These new developments were authorized for emergency use by the FDA. Tests, treatment and vaccines have been free for everyone.
After expiration. They will remain authorized for emergency use. Health insurers may charge once the federal supplies are exhausted.
During the PH emergency. Enrollment markedly increased because the federal government would not allow states to remove people from the program if they had already been enrolled.
After expiration. Starting in April, states can remove ineligible people.
During the PH emergency. Federal student loans payments have been on hold. The Biden administration had announced forgiveness of some federal student loan debt. However, loan forgiveness is pending a Supreme Court ruling.
After expiration. Student loan payments will remain on hold until 60 days following the Supreme Court ruling.
Immigration at the border:
During the PH emergency. Border security can deny people the right to enter the U.S. before they obtain asylum in order to stop the spread of the virus.
After expiration. This is pending Supreme Court review.
During the PH emergency. Telehealth has become very popular and is now accepted by Medicare and health insurance companies.
After expiration. Congress has authorized Medicare to continue the policy this year.
During the PH emergency. It was easier for individuals and families to qualify for SNAP benefits. Unemployed adults under 50 and without children and low-income college students had SNAP benefits.
After expiration. SNAP benefit enhancements will end soon in about one-half of the states. SNAP benefits for unemployed adults under 50 and without children are only for workers or participants in job training for at least 20 hours a week. Low-income college students will no longer be eligible for SNAP.
Money for hospitals:
During the PH emergency. Hospitals receive 20% more money for treating COVID-19 Medicare patients.
After expiration. Hospitals will no longer get the additional Medicare payments.
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Contact: Dr. Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, email@example.com