Covid 19 public health emergency extended for another 90 days

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Covid 19 public health emergency extended for another 90 days

The declaration is continuing for another 90 days, as Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra extends the Covid 19 public health emergency Friday.

The latest declaration will allow for at least another three months for public health protections and financial aid programs to continue for at least another three months, according to the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

The public health agency didn't respond to a request for comment Wednesday, but Kirsten Allen, a spokesman for Health and Human Services, said on Wednesday that HHS will give states 60 days notice prior to any possible termination or expiration in the future, which has been an ongoing commitment of the Biden administration.

The declaration was extended for the eighth time since it was announced Jan. 27, 2020.

There is growing concern about what will happen if the public health emergency declaration comes to an end, as it will begin the unraveling of the expansive support system and end key flexibilities that have helped the effort to respond to the Pandemic.

They allow states to waive regulatory requirements as they respond to the flu, and expand access to telehealth and telemedicine capabilities, and allow them to give grants and appropriation funding to local governments and groups working to prevent and treat the disease.

Up to 15 million people, including 6 million children, are at risk of losing Medicaid coverage when the public health emergency ends, as it would cause states to lose federal funding and the flexibility to keep people on Medicaid rolls without checking on their eligibility, according to a report by NBC News.

Daniel Tsai, the director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services who was appointed in June, said in the December report that he has created a working group with 25 state Medicaid agencies to discuss the best practices on how to approach a problem that he called unprecedented. The agency prepared a checklist for states to encourage them to communicate the challenges and work closely with health care navigators, community groups, and others to make a smooth transition as possible.

The goal is to make sure that those who remain eligible keep coverage and those who don't transition to other forms of health insurance.

Tsai said last month that we try to be very cognizant of the realities on the ground and that we are using every lever possible to help preserve coverage and access for folks.