Biden Administration Plans to End COVID Public Health Emergency in May

The Biden administration on Monday announced that the COVID-19 public health emergency, which has been in place since January 2020, is set to end on May 11.

“The COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency (PHE) were declared by the Trump Administration in 2020.  They are currently set to expire on March 1 and April 11, respectively.  At present, the Administration’s plan is to extend the emergency declarations to May 11, and then end both emergencies on that date,” the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in a statement.

“To be clear, continuation of these emergency declarations until May 11 does not impose any restriction at all on individual conduct with regard to COVID-19,” the OMB said in its statement. “They do not impose mask mandates or vaccine mandates.  They do not restrict school or business operations.  They do not require the use of any medicines or tests in response to cases of COVID-19.”

Under the flexibilities that were enacted under the PHE, traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage beneficiaries were able to receive free at-home COVID-19 testing and treatments and pay no cost-sharing.

Private insurance providers were also required to cover coronavirus testing and services with no cost-sharing and without prior authorization.

The end of the PHE will also mean the end of Title 42 border policy, which allows border officials to expel foreign nationals and ignore asylum claims for the sake of public health protections.