Tags Posts tagged with "COVID-19"


Medical insurance and Medicaid and stethoscope.

Join Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) on May 22, 2023, at 1:00 pm for a community conversation about Medicaid waivers. Amy Lowenstein, Director of Policy, and Pamela Putnam Silver, Supervising Attorney from the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, will discuss:

  • The end of COVID-era policies in the CHC and OBRA waivers and what they mean for those applying or receiving waiver services;
  • What to expect from the waiver renewal process;
  • Addressing changes in income and resources that may impact eligibility;
  • Where to go for help; and
  • Any questions and concerns.

Register for the meeting here.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The Department of Health has updated “Recommendations Regarding the Monovalent and Bivalent mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines.” A summary of these updates include:

  • The FDA announced on April 18, 2023, that it had rescinded the authorization for the monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech and monovalent Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and that the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech and bivalent Moderna vaccines are now authorized for all doses for individuals 6 months and older.
  • The FDA authorization for the Novavax vaccine is unchanged.
  • The definition of up-to-date for COVID-19 vaccination was simplified, and now all individuals 6 years and older who have received a single dose of a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of past history of receiving monovalent COVID-19 vaccine, are considered up-to-date.
  • Children 6 months through 4 years of age who are unvaccinated may receive a 2-dose series of the Moderna bivalent or a 3-dose series of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine.
  • Children who are 5 years old and are unvaccinated may receive 2 doses of the Moderna bivalent vaccine or 1 dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine.
  • Children 6 months to 5 years of age who received one, two, or three doses of monovalent COVID-19 vaccine may receive bivalent vaccine, but the number of doses that they receive will depend upon the vaccine given and their vaccination history.
  • Individuals 65 and older and those with certain immunocompromising conditions may choose to receive an additional dose of the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech or bivalent Moderna vaccine.
  • If you have any questions, please call PA DOH at 877-PA-HEALTH (877-724-3258) or your local health department.

You can view the entire health advisory here.

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be hosting an informational National Office Hours call on April 25, 2023, at 3:30 pm. The call will focus on the ending of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) that will take place on May 11, 2023, and will help providers, facilities, and people with Medicare prepare. CMS leaders and expert staff will present an overview of the effects of the PHE’s ending on the current waivers and flexibilities and then answer questions.

In preparation for this webinar, CMS encourages participants to review the following resources to determine what questions remain that will support your efforts after the end of the PHE:


  • CMS Leaders from the Office of the Administrator, Center for Medicare, and Center for Clinical Standards and Quality
  • CMS Subject Matter Experts on Medicare policy and PHE-related waivers and flexibilities

RSVP — Register Here

After registering, a confirmation email will be sent containing information about joining the call. When you select the link to join the call on April 25, you will see a message stating that the host will allow you to join the event momentarily. Please continue to wait at that screen until the CMS team opens the call and admits everyone.

Resources for Integrated Care (RIC) recently released a brief on telehealth and its impact on dually eligible people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). As noted by RIC, people dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as people with I/DD, are diagnosed with multiple chronic conditions at higher rates than the general population and often face barriers with access to healthcare.

Telehealth services have been increasing in popularity and usage and have the potential to positively impact people with I/DD. Health plans can utilize this information to further their understanding of how telehealth modalities can improve access to person-centered care for people with I/DD.

Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

ODP Announcement 23-019 is to advise all stakeholders that the COVID-19 PHE is officially ending May 11, 2023. All provisions made under Appendix K will expire on November 11, 2023.

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) will release more detailed information regarding transition activities as they develop. A link to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) statement is provided here.

Pennsylvania is preparing for a major change in renewal processes for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) recipients.

Starting April 1, 2023, Pennsylvania is required by federal law to review Medicaid and CHIP recipients’ eligibility every year, which means that recipients must submit a renewal. While the Department of Human Services (DHS) still sent renewals during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, most people were not disenrolled from Medicaid or CHIP because of a change in eligibility.

DHS encourages everyone to share the following information with Medicaid and CHIP recipients to help them stay informed about renewals.

What Should I Do Right Now?

The best thing that Medicaid and CHIP recipients can do right now to prepare for their renewal is to make sure that their contact information is up-to-date with DHS. By making sure that their information is current, recipients can receive timely updates about their renewal. They also can opt-in to receiving text and email alerts about their benefits.

  • Visit COMPASS and log into their My COMPASS Account.
  • Use the free myCOMPASS PA mobile app.
  • Call 877-395-8930 or 215-560-7226 (Philadelphia), Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Completing Medicaid and CHIP Renewals
Renewals should be completed when they are received, even if recipients receive them before April 1, 2023. Recipients will receive a renewal packet in the mail when it is time to renew their coverage. Information about their renewal will start to arrive 90 days before it is due. It is very important that renewal forms are completed and returned even if nothing has changed. Completing a renewal allows DHS to determine eligibility for MA or CHIP coverage. Coverage will continue for recipients who are still eligible.
There are a few ways for recipients to complete a renewal:

  • Complete the forms DHS sends and mail them back in the envelope included in the packet.
  • Drop completed forms off at the local county assistance office (CAO).
  • Complete the renewal online.
  • Complete the renewal over the phone by calling 866-550-4355.

What is Continuous Coverage?

Under the continuous coverage requirement, individuals covered by Medicaid and/or CHIP have been able to keep their health coverage even if they would have otherwise become ineligible for the program based on other factors.

Evaluating Eligibility

Once the continuous Medicaid and CHIP coverage requirement ends, recipients will have to complete a renewal to maintain their coverage as long as they are eligible.

Are You Ineligible for Coverage?

DHS will provide instructions on how to re-enroll or share options for coverage if individuals are no longer eligible. Options for free or low-cost health coverage are available online.

Get more information and resources at DHS’s website.