US To End COVID-19 'Public Health Emergency' In May: What Will Change?

Will this mean that whatever was free under the Department of Health will become costlier now?

2 min read
US To End COVID-19 'Public Health Emergency' In May: What Will Change?

The Quint DAILY

For impactful stories you just can’t miss

By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy

Almost three years after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared a public health emergency in the United States by then-President Donald Trump, it will finally end on 11 May this year, the Joe Biden administration announced.

What will this mean for the US public? Will it mean that whatever was free under the Department of Health and Human Services initiative or could be subsidised by the Medicare and Medicaid policies – personal protective equipment (PPE) gear and kits, masks, COVID-19 tests, COVID-19 vaccines – will become costlier?

FIT breaks it down. 


COVID-19 vaccines: Will these be free? Depends. People with Medicare and Medicaid insurance will still get free vaccines and booster doses. 

People with private insurance will have to make sure that they are getting their vaccine doses at a centre that their insurance company covers. 

But uninsured people will have to pay out-of-pocket.

What about COVID-19 tests? Medicaid policyholders can get COVID-19 tests done for free if their doctor has prescribed one for them.

But it’s not certain whether people with Medicaid can get at-home tests done, and if private insurers will continue to cover the tests. 

Medicare policyholders will have to pay some discounted amount for the tests. 

For COVID-19 treatment, private insurance holders will get covered for treatment. Medicare holders will have to pay a discounted amount.

Medicaid policyholders will also have to pay for their treatments, until and unless it is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

 Apart from this, any telehealth services will be terminated when the PHE ends in May. 

A New Fear: With the PHE ending, the 20 percent Medicare reimbursements by hospitals would end, causing a more expensive treatment and higher medical bills for anyone who contracts COVID-19, which might limit access to healthcare for those suffering.

TIME reported that according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 5-14 million people in the US could lose their Medicaid coverage when the COVID-19 policies end.

"This wind-down would align with the Administration's previous commitments to give at least 60 days' notice prior to termination of the PHE."
White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

What Else? According to the OMB, the US government will also veto a bill in the Congress to "eliminate Covid vaccine mandates for health care providers."

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from fit

Topics:  US   coronavirus   COVID-19 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
More News