Jan 11, 2023 - Health

Biden administration extends COVID public health emergency

Xavier Becerra. Photo: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The COVID-19 public health emergency will be extended for another 90 days, maintaining a long set of Trump-era allowances and programs affecting much of U.S. health care.

Why it matters: When the emergency does end, it will bring major policy shifts to insurance markets, drug approvals and telehealth.

Yes, but: Some flexibilities, such as those for Medicare telehealth created under the public health emergency (PHE), were extended by the year-end spending deal for two years. The provisions had already been extended for 151 days after the end of the emergency.

What to watch: The United States Department of Health and Human Services has pledged it would give states and health providers 60 days' notice before the emergency expires or is terminated, officials said.

  • Administration officials declined to comment on whether this would be the final extension.
  • "The decision to terminate the COVID PHE will be made by the HHS secretary based on the best available data and science," an administration official told Axios. "Any suggestion that a specific end date has been established is untrue."

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