Biden Administration Issues Guidance on Required Medicaid and CHIP Coverage for COVID Treatment

Posted Sunday, November 14, 2021

CMS issued guidance to states about the statutory requirement for states to cover COVID-19-related treatment without cost-sharing in Medicaid and CHIP for many seniors, low-income adults, pregnant women, children, and people with disabilities who receive health coverage through these programs. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) is a life-saving health care coverage which includes care for conditions that could complicate the treatment of COVID-19 in patients who are presumed positive for the virus or have been diagnosed with COVID.

“The American Rescue Plan expanded coverage for COVID-19 care. The pandemic has exacerbated the inequities that underlie our health care system, and we must continue to work on both the federal and state levels to improve access to and quality of care for everyone,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “This guidance will guarantee COVID treatment for people with Medicaid coverage, including those who have been disproportionately harmed by COVID-19. Now that people with Medicaid and CHIP coverage have the comfort in knowing that their COVID treatment is covered, we encourage private health plans to take steps to ensure cost is not a barrier for consumers’ access to treatment for COVID-19, including for long COVID.”

Under the ARP, states are required to cover COVID-19 treatments without cost-sharing, including preventive therapies and specialized equipment, beginning March 11, 2021, and ending over a year after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends. This coverage also includes treatments for post-COVID conditions, which are often described as “long COVID.”  Long COVID includes a range of symptoms that can last weeks or months after infection. Additionally, during the same time frame, states are required to cover, without cost-sharing, treatments for conditions that may seriously complicate the treatment of COVID-19 for individuals who have or are presumed to have COVID-19, if otherwise covered under the state plan (or waiver of such plan, including a section 1115 demonstration), during the period when they are diagnosed with or presumed to have COVID-19.

Source: NAHC

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