An Extension is Granted for PHE
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Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announces a 90-day extension of the Public Health Emergency that was due to expire on April 16th. Cases in some areas of the country are rising again with some locations reinstating mask mandates.
The decision will allow millions of Americans to keep getting free tests, vaccines and certain treatments for at least three more months. The Department of Health and Human Services says that it will give states 60 days notice prior to any future expiration date.
The government has been paying for tests, vaccines, and certain treatments for those covered by its Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs, and required private insurers to cover the full cost of tests and vaccines through public health emergency funding.
In addition, the emergency has made it easier for up to 16 million more Americans to access health insurance coverage under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Congress is debating the allocation and procurement of additional federal funds that would be used for testing, treating and vaccinating the uninsured. The debate is centered on political ideological party affiliation.
When the Public Health Emergency ends, insured patients will again be responsible for co-pays or other costs associated with treatment.
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