President Joe Biden greets Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, center, and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, right, in Baltimore to announce infrastructure plans. The Biden Administration has also made changes to end the COVID-19 national emergency declaration. Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP.

The federal government will end its national emergency declaration for the COVID-19 virus on May 11 and that change may have costly effects for people living in Maryland.

Expiring the emergency decree will change regulations for enrolling in Medicaid and shift the burden of who pays for tests and COVID treatments. There were 1.6 million people enrolled in Maryland’s Medicaid program as of October 2022, according to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Josh Sharfstein, the former Maryland health secretary under Gov. Martin O’Malley, says Marylanders will no longer be automatically enrolled in Medicaid benefits.

“People are going to have to recertify for Medicaid,” Sharfstein said. “A whole lot of people in Maryland, who are enrolled in the Medicaid program, are now going to have to fill out forms or respond with information to make sure that they can stay covered.”

It’s not just automatic enrollment that will disappear this spring. The government will also likely stop supplying free tests and medications like Paxlovid, which is used to treat COVID.

The government will ask people to rely on their private insurance to cover the costs of those products, just like any other illness.

Read more (and listen) at WYPR.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *