Tag: COVID-19

Searching for a New Normal: How Expiration of the Federal Public Health Emergency Impacts Access to Health Care Services

After more than three years, the federal COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) is set to expire on May 11, 2023. Once the PHE designation is lifted, a number of federal policies intended to help the U.S. health care system adapt to the pandemic will also expire. CHIR’s Emma Walsh-Alker reviews selected policies tied to the PHE and evaluates how the impending expiration will impact consumers’ access to services.

COVID “Long Haulers” Still Struggle with Coverage and Care

The COVID-19 public health emergency expires this spring, bringing an end to pandemic-related funding, infrastructure, and flexibilities. Meanwhile, millions of people continue struggling to find and pay for effective treatment for post-acute, COVID-related conditions. Karen Davenport provides an update on the progress—or lack thereof—towards covering the ongoing and unique care needs of these COVID “long haulers.”

The Expiration of the Public Health Emergency Also Ends Policies to Lower Health Access Barriers

As we approach the end of the public health emergency, Medicaid will not be the only program affected by pandemic relief policies that expire. CHIR’s Emma Walsh-Alker and Megan Houston reviewed other policies that expire at the end of the PHE including mandated coverage of COVID-19 tests and related care, lower barriers to telehealth, and ease the use of mental health and substance use services.

March Research Roundup: What We’re Reading

Along with the cherry blossoms, new health policy research was in full bloom this month. In addition to filling out our March Madness brackets, the CHIR team reviewed studies on health insurance rates during the pandemic, how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) impacted women’s health coverage, and consumer access to high-quality marketplace plans.

Insurers are Now Covering At-Home COVID Tests but Implementation Varies

Private health plans are now required to cover at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 tests. CHIR’s Megan Houston and Rachel Swindle reviewed the coverage policies of 51 insurers to see how consumers can access this benefit. They found a number of plans with restrictions that go beyond what federal guidelines allow.

New Requirements to Cover Over-the-counter COVID Tests: Implications for State Insurance Regulators

New federal rules require health insurers to cover and waive consumer cost-sharing for over-the-counter COVID-19 tests. State insurance regulators will be on the front lines of enforcing the new coverage mandate. In her latest Expert Perspective for the State Health & Value Strategies project, Sabrina Corlette assesses the new requirements and identifies areas where state insurance departments may need to fill in gaps.

The State of COVID-19 Testing Coverage and Accessibility

Insurers are still required to fully cover COVID-19 testing, but finding a free test is a lot more difficult than it was last year. As we approach holiday gatherings, the need for affordable and accessible COVID-19 testing is critical. CHIR’s Megan Houston reviews the current state of COVID-19 testing coverage and considers what might be done to improve accessibility.

October Research Roundup: What We’re Reading

In our newest monthly roundup of health policy research, CHIR intern Madison Berry reviews studies evaluating the impact of extending the American Rescue Plan’s subsidy expansion, COVID-19’s effect on health spending, and the importance of continuous marketplace coverage for pregnant people.

The opinions expressed here are solely those of the individual blog post authors and do not represent the views of Georgetown University, the Center on Health Insurance Reforms, any organization that the author is affiliated with, or the opinions of any other author who publishes on this blog.