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The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Ends

by Joseph Peters | May 17, 2023

The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) ended on Thursday, May 11, 2023. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued numerous PHE-related rules, waivers and guidance, many of which were tied to the PHE declaration. With the PHE declaration ending, many waivers, expansions and changes will also be ending. 

Although the PHE is ending, many people are still being affected by COVID-19. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will continue to meet the needs of those affected by the virus. Since HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra’s February 9, 2023 letter to Governors announcing the planned end of the COVID-19 PHE, the Department has been working closely with partners—including Governors; state, local, Tribal and territorial agencies; industry; and advocates—to ensure an orderly transition out of the COVID-19 PHE. HHS has issued a fact sheet which details what will and what will not be affected by the end of the PHE. 

What will not be affected: 

  • Access to COVID-19 vaccinations and certain treatments 

  • The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for COVID-19 products (including tests, vaccines, and treatments) 

  • Major telehealth flexibilities 

  • Government response to long COVID 

What will be affected: 

  • Certain Medicare and Medicaid waivers and broad flexibilities for health care providers  

  • Coverage for COVID-19 testing will change, however a strong stockpile of tests will remain accessible at no cost in certain community locations, and the government will continue to distribute tests through until the end of May 2023 

  • Certain COVID-19 data reporting and surveillance will change 

Here are some useful resources that outline some of the changes and timelines that are taking place due to the end of the PHE: 

If you have additional questions or would like to become involved in ACA’s advocacy efforts, please contact the ACA Government Affairs and Public Policy team at