In light of recent postal delays and housing displacements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis, and a wave of natural disasters across the country, state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies face new challenges communicating with their enrollees about their health coverage. Acting now to mitigate these challenges is essential as states are preparing for the end of the public health emergency (PHE) and “catching up” on coverage renewals for a large portion of their enrollees. This expert perspective reviews strategies that state Medicaid and CHIP agencies may consider to help mitigate coverage losses.
The Federal Government’s Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Questions & Answers
Allison Orris and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Manatt Health
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is moving rapidly to help states and health care providers respond to mounting needs for new sources of funding and flexibility. Congress has passed three COVID-19 stimulus bills, which authorize programmatic changes in Medicare, Medicaid, and Marketplace coverage and also appropriate billions of dollars to support states, localities, and health care providers.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—and its component agencies, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—has issued voluminous guidance outlining new flexibilities available to states and providers, and is working at breakneck speed to approve additional requests from states, to award funds appropriated by Congress, and to issue more guidance about such funding. This Q&A provides a moment-in-time update in response to questions SHVS has received about the federal government’s response.