HHS Publishes Report on Medicaid Enrollment Under the COVID-19 PHE

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Aug 31, 2022
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released a report highlighting current projections for the number of individuals predicted to lose Medicaid coverage at the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) declaration. The report also floats legislative and administrative actions that can help minimize disruptions in coverage.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act mandated continuous Medicaid enrollment from the date of its enactment in 2020 through the end of the PHE declaration. States receive increased funding for meeting the provisions that suspend Medicaid’s regular eligibility renewal and redetermination process. In large part due to the prohibition on disenrolling individuals, Medicaid grew to cover 86.7 million people by December 2021, up from 71.2 million in February 2020.

The HHS report estimates that upon expiration of the COVID-19 PHE, 17.4% of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollees (~15 million individuals) will lose coverage. The PHE has been in place since late January 2020 and last renewed on July 15, 2022, amid calls from Republicans to end the PHE as COVID-19 becomes endemic. By federal law, PHE declarations last for 90 days or until an emergency subsides. HHS has indicated it will renew the PHE again in October.

Impact on General Dentistry: The AGD continues to monitor developments related to the COVID-19 PHE declaration and its impact on general dentistry. Upon expiration, millions of Americans could lose coverage of their dental benefits through CHIP and Medicaid programs as states return to conducting non-emergency eligibility enrollments.