“The issue and the challenge is that CMS, I am sure, doesn’t want to send states a signal that the public health emergency is ending, given where we are. But on the other hand, states feel like they need some indications of what to do and when to do it,” said Allison Orris, counsel with Manatt Health and a former federal health policy official. “I think that there’s an understandable question from the HHS perspective of when do we say that for states and we don’t want to freak out states right now.”
A CMS spokesperson pointed to existing guidance to states saying that the enhanced federal funding for Medicaid — of 6.2 percentage points being added to states’ Federal Medical Assistance Percentage rates — will stop at the end of the quarter when the public health emergency ends.
The spokesperson said it’s too early to speculate on potential status changes for the health emergency, and CMS remains in constant contact with states.
The agency confirmed it is developing additional guidance, which it intends to release in the near future.
Medicaid, which primarily provides insurance coverage for the nation’s poorest individuals, saw an enrollment increase of almost 5 million people between February and July this year, to a total of nearly 69 million, with that number likely to grow.