COVID-19 national emergency ends, what does it mean?
LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - The national emergency for COVID-19 is officially over, more than three years after it was declared by then-president Donald Trump.
It allowed the government to take steps to respond to the virus and support the country’s economic, health, and welfare systems. Ending the national emergency will end the use of some waivers for federal health programs meant to help healthcare providers during the height of the pandemic, according to Politico.
Among other affected programs are mortgage forbearance at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and relaxed Veteran Affairs Department requirements.
Most Medicare telehealth flexibilities will remain in place until December 2024. For those with private insurance, changes will vary by plan, along with telehealth prescription coverage.
One Laredo resident concerned about this is Guadalupe, she said, ”COVID cases can go up because if it’s a high cost that people can’t pay, obviously they’re not going to want to get tested and they won’t know if they’re infected and then they’re going to infect more people, which obviously will be your immediate family first.”
This change won’t impact the benefits of the public health emergency which ends in May. After that, medicare and state Medicaid beneficiaries will face out-of-pocket costs for at-home testing and all treatment. Those with private insurance could face out-of-pocket charges.
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