The Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 ended on May 11th, 2023. Many of the health policies were changed or extended in the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2023 last December, allowing for more gradual transitions.
One item decided in the CAA omnibus was that Medicaid and CHIP redeterminations could begin on April 1st, 2023, regardless of the status of the PHE. The pause on redeterminations ensured that people retained their health insurance and access to medical care during the pandemic. According to guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, states were given up to 12 months to initiate, and 14 months to complete, a renewal for all individuals enrolled in Medicaid, CHIP, and the Basic Health Program. States were allowed to begin their 12-month unwinding period starting on February 1, 2023 but could not begin Medicaid enrollment terminations until April 1, 2023.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released information on May 5th that explained some of the upcoming changes in public health measures related to COVID. Vaccines and treatments for severe COVID will remain available while supplies last, and then the prices will be determined by the manufactures and insurance companies. At-home tests will no longer be required to be offered free of charge by insurance companies.
Another change was the end of the Title 42, the pandemic-era protocol that allowed the U.S. to turn back most asylum-seekers at the southern border. “Fears of an unprecedented influx of migrants did not immediately materialize in the hours after the expiration of Title 42,” Politico reported on Friday May 12th. This may be in part because of the new asylum rule that went into effect on the same day that Title 42 ended. Under this rule, most asylum seekers who cross into the United States between ports of entry or who present themselves at a port of entry without a previously scheduled appointment will be considered ineligible for asylum, unless they previously sought and were denied protection in a country they traveled through. The ACLU has already filed a lawsuit challenging this new rule.