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End of Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and what it means for health care

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo (KRDO) -- This week is marking the end of the Federal COVID-19 declaration, with the Biden Administration stopping the public health emergency on Thursday, May 11, and it's coming with some changes.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), for more than a year now, the pandemic has been on a downward trend.

Following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, starting Friday, May 12, some health plans will no longer be required to cover COVID-19 diagnostic testing, including over-the-counter tests that come at no cost.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, while companies are encouraged to continue to cover these tests, it will not be guaranteed. This means future COVID-19 patients may be responsible for covering all or part of the cost for COVID-19 tests.

Plans that are required to cover COVID-19 vaccines from an in-network provider at no cost to you, may impose cost sharing if you get a vaccine from a provider that's not in your health plan's network.

During the COVID-19 national emergency, many health care plans were required to give you more time to make decisions about your health coverage. For example, you and your family members had more time to request special enrollment to join your employer's health plan.

Special enrollment is a period outside of your normal open enrollment period, when you have an opportunity to enroll in the health plan if you experienced certain types of life events, like getting married or welcoming a new child into your family.

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, certain health care plans expanded the coverage of telehealth services. Now, with the status of Covid-19 now changing, it's more important than ever to check with your provider to see if any of those benefits will be affected.

If you or any of your family members currently have health coverage through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), you may need to take steps to find out if you can continue that coverage. While states will resume Medicaid and CHIP eligibility reviews, some people could be disenrolled from their programs.

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Brynn Carman

Brynn is an anchor on Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Brynn here.


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