Administration issues guidance to states on required Medicaid and CHIP coverage for COVID-19-related treatment

Oct. 26, 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance to states about the statutory requirement for states to cover COVID-19-related treatment without cost-sharing in Medicaid and CHIP for many seniors, low-income adults, pregnant women, children, and people with disabilities who receive health coverage through these programs.

This life-saving healthcare coverage, supported through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), includes care for conditions that could complicate the treatment of COVID-19 in patients who are presumed positive for the virus or have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Under the ARP, states are required to cover COVID-19 treatments without cost-sharing, including preventive therapies and specialized equipment, beginning March 11, 2021 and generally ending over a year after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends. This coverage also includes treatments for post-COVID conditions, which are often described as “long COVID.” 

Long COVID includes a range of symptoms that can last weeks or months after infection. Additionally, during the same time frame, states are required to cover, without cost-sharing, treatments for conditions that may seriously complicate the treatment of COVID-19 for individuals who have or are presumed to have COVID-19, if otherwise covered under the state plan (or waiver of such plan, including a section 1115 demonstration), during the period when they are diagnosed with or presumed to have COVID-19. 

In accordance with these provisions of the ARP, states must cover drugs that have been approved, or authorized by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to treat or prevent COVID-19, consistent with the applicable authorizations.

CMS release

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