What the end of the public health emergency means for your health care coverage

Published May 4, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the need for high-quality, affordable health care across the country. Millions of Americans were left without coverage due to job loss while health systems faced unprecedented demand for care. All of this brought the need for equitable, affordable, accessible health care into sharp focus.

Since the first days of the pandemic, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have committed themselves to ensuring that everyone has access to the health care they needed. This meant investing billions in the fight against COVID-19, ensuring access to testing, distributing personal protective equipment to millions of essential workers and supporting mass vaccination efforts. Now, with the public health emergency (PHE) officially ending on May 11, 2023, BCBS companies remain just as committed to ensuring that everyone continues to receive seamless access to the care they need at a price they can afford.

When the PHE ends in May, robust coverage will continue for BCBS members:

  • Vaccines will be covered at no cost-share
  • COVID treatments and physician-ordered COVID tests will remain covered based on a member’s individual health benefit plan
  • Most members will continue to have access to telehealth, including for mental health services

This means that members can continue to receive the care they need without worrying about financial burdens.

However, some members may experience changes in coverage. For example, some members on Medicaid may lose their coverage due to a redetermination of eligibility, though many are eligible for financial assistance through the Affordable Care Act or can enroll in coverage through their employer. BCBS companies are working closely with these members to ensure that they understand their options and to assist them with any coverage updates they may need. BCBS companies are working with providers, community partners and the government to help members understand what changes may impact them and their health coverage.

Learn what to do if you’re currently covered under Medicaid.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is an association of independently owned and operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. Read more about how BCBS companies are promoting affordable health care.