All 50 states and the District of Columbia have made changes to their Medicaid programs in light of the COVID-19 emergency. In most, but not all, cases these changes maintain or expand health coverage and adapt administration of the program to maximize availability of acute and ICU beds and key equipment like ventilators; physically separate COVID patients; and support provider availability and finances.
To date, the federal Medicaid agency is approving these changes through legal authorities that allow for temporary changes during an emergency. The end dates of these measures depends on the authority being used by the state. That has consequences.
The issue brief uses a Q&A format. It summarizes the current emergency authorities being used by federal and state governments to relax state Medicaid-participation requirements. It also provides action steps that can be taken now to protect broadened Medicaid coverage with respect to the most frequent activities that states are taking.