Pennsylvania Plans Full Year to Unwind Medicaid Coverage Protections

The federal COVID-related Public Health Emergency (PHE), currently set to expire on Jan. 11, 2023, is expected to be extended once more, to April 2023. During the PHE, Pennsylvania has allowed continued Medicaid (Medical Assistance (MA)) coverage for most individuals enrolled in MA as required by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in exchange for increased federal Medicaid funding. However, the previous continuous coverage requirement tie to the PHE was severed with passage of the omnibus spending bill by Congress last week sets March 31, 2023, as the last day of the requirement, regardless of the status of the PHE. The bill allows states to continue to receive enhanced federal funding, in gradually decreasing amounts, throughout 2023. When the continuous Medicaid coverage requirement ends, the PA Department of Human Services (DHS) will review Medicaid eligibility for everyone on MA. While DHS originally planned to conduct the “unwinding” of continuous Medicaid coverage over a six-month time period, DHS in November shared its intention to take a full 12 months to review eligibility for all Pennsylvanians on Medicaid. For most, this means Medicaid will be reviewed when their Medicaid renewal would normally occur. Please remind your patients who are currently covered by MA that it is critical to ensure their contact information with the County Assistance Office (CAO) is up to date so they can receive Medicaid-related correspondence, including the renewal packet. Contact information can be updated on the COMPASS website, on the myCOMPASS PA mobile app, or by calling the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930 (in Philadelphia, call 215-560-7226). MA-insured individuals also have the option to sign up for text alerts related to their benefits renewal.