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As many of our readers are no doubt already aware, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on February 9 that the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) will end on May 11. The announcement gave payers, providers and states 90 days to prepare for policy changes.

As discussed here, most current Medicare telehealth flexibilities will remain in place through December 2024 due to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, passed by Congress in December. Medicaid telehealth flexibilities will also remain unchanged for now.

The HHS Fact Sheet summarizes the COVID-19 testing, treatment and coverage policies that will change after the PHE ends. For example, over-the-counter coronavirus tests will generally no longer be available at no cost, although insurance carriers may voluntarily opt to extend this coverage. Medicaid programs must continue to cover COVID-19 tests and treatments with zero cost-sharing until at least September 30, 2024. Medicare will continue to cover vaccines with zero cost-sharing under Medicare Part B.

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