From the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau - Special Bulletin - May 12, 2023
The End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) thanks our Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) recipients, subrecipients, and providers for your incredible efforts over the last three years during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your critical support to people with HIV during these challenging and unprecedented times has been essential.
May 11, 2023, marked the end of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). COVID-19 remains a public health priority, however, thanks to our whole of government approach, we are in a better place than we were three years ago. Over the next few months, HHS will transition COVID-19 pandemic related policies, as well as the current flexibilities enabled by the COVID-19 emergency declarations, into improving patients’ standards of care.
HRSA HAB recognizes the end of the PHE will impact the RWHAP community and plans to support RWHAP recipients and clients as they navigate the changes that will now occur. Community partners are vital to ensuring an orderly transition and helping people with HIV become informed and take action to maintain important services for which they may be eligible.
One crucial eligibility area relates to Medicaid coverage. During the PHE, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provided enhanced federal funding to states to keep people continuously enrolled in Medicaid coverage throughout the PHE. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (CAA, 2023) decoupled the end of the Medicaid continuous enrollment condition from the end of the PHE, and the Act ended the condition on March 31, 2023. The phase-out, or “unwinding,” of the three-year Medicaid continuous enrollment condition began on April 1, 2023, and states must complete Medicaid redeterminations within 14 months. We thank the RWHAP community for taking steps to limit coverage disruptions for RWHAP clients as they renew Medicaid coverage or transition to alternate coverage. To learn more about the Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Unwinding, please read HRSA HAB’s Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Unwinding program letter.
HRSA HAB encourages you to review the following resources:
- White House Fact Sheet: Actions Taken by the Biden-Harris Administration to Ensure Continued COVID-19 Protections and Surge Preparedness After Public Health Emergency Transition
- HHS COVID-19 Public Health Emergency webpage
- HHS Fact Sheet: End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
- CMS Informational Bulletin: End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) and the COVID-19 National Emergency and Implications for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- CDC’s End of the PHE webpage
The PHE is ending, but COVID-19 remains a public health priority. HHS remains focused on continuing to make vaccines and treatments widely and equitably available. Thank you for your ongoing efforts and dedication to supporting health and safety of people with HIV across the nation.
Laura Cheever and Heather Hauck