Public Health Emergency Expected to be Extended Through 2021
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has communicated it will likely extend the Public Health Emergency (PHE) in 90 day increments through 2021. This is an update to the previous PHE extension that we communicated earlier this month, effective Jan. 21, 2021.
As a reminder, the PHE declaration allows our Department to:
- keep our emergency and waiver policies in place to reduce administrative burden on providers and increase access to care for members (such as telemedicine policies);
extend the continuous coverage provision that keeps many Coloradans covered by Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) when they might otherwise be disenrolled;
- maintain the additional 6.2% of federal matching funding coming in to the state, which provides needed dollars during the fiscal crisis; and
- prohibit benefit reductions.
HHS has also committed to providing 60-days notice before the end of the PHE, in line with the Department's requests.
We will continue to update you through our e-newsletters and PHE planning page at colorado.gov/hcpf/phe-planning. Thank you for your ongoing collaboration and your partnership in serving our members.