The official end of the federal Public Health Emergency on May 11 will impact some safety net provisions established due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Extended Medicaid coverage is no longer guaranteed for hundreds of thousands of low-income and disabled Illinois residents. Federal requirements for states to expand Medicaid coverage have now ended. Illinois will again check an individual's eligibility for Medicaid enrollment annually, as was standard before the pandemic. While many will be able to qualify and keep coverage, it is expected that many across the country will no longer qualify.
“We know how important it is for patients who find health coverage support through Medicaid to secure consistent access to maintain their care and wellness plans,” Robert Healy, MD, associate chief medical director of Quality, Safety and Patient Experience said. “We want to be a partner to patients to ensure they are aware of community resources available to ensure continuity of care.”
As the pandemic impacted businesses in every sector, there were government-backed healthcare programs offered to support more people. As those measures revert, the State of Illinois is reinstating its methods for making sure that those who receive Medicaid qualify for it. The state recently sent “Ready to Renew” notices to those impacted and will continue to do so over the next 12 months
The end of the PHE does impact other aspects of the healthcare experience. For now, the COVID-19 vaccine will remain a fully covered cost for everyone no matter their insurance provider or where it’s administered. Patients can expect their testing and treatment experience to be similar to any other illness vaccination or treatment the health system may support. Regardless of emergency status, Carle remains committed to supporting the testing, vaccination and COVID-19 care needs of patients and the community.
“While this shift may signal the end of some federal provisions, it does not mean the end of COVID-19. Though we are pleased to see the levels reducing, we anticipate this will remain a present virus within our communities moving forward,” Dr. Healy said. “We’ve seen firsthand how mitigation efforts can help reduce the spread of illness, so it will be imperative for community members to do their part and stay up to date on vaccinations to keep numbers low.“
Carle is working to provide information and partnering with community health advocacy organizations to direct patients affected by Medicaid redetermination requirements to appropriate resources. Patients in need of more information about the end of the PHE should visit the Illinois Medicaid Renewals Information Center.
Categories: Staying Healthy