News Alert: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Extension

The Biden administration extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) through April due to concerns that the nation may face another wave of hospitalizations this winter. The U.S. public health emergency has renewed every 90 days since January 2020.

“The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency remains in effect, and as HHS committed to earlier, we will provide a 60-day notice to states before any possible termination or expiration,” a spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Department said.

The emergency declaration will continue to protect public health insurance coverage for millions, expand telehealth, and provide hospitals with greater flexibility to respond to patient surges.

While the country saw declines in infections, hospitalizations and deaths last year, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters what the virus does this winter will determine whether or not the emergency needs to continue. Once the emergency declaration has been lifted, plan deadlines will revert to pre-COVID timeframes, hospitals will lose flexibility in how they function during surges, and millions of Americans stand to lose increased access to public health insurance coverage.