Joe Biden administration extends public health emergency for another 90 days
What does Joe Biden have to do to bring his numbers up? Image via AP.

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Florida will continue to receive enhanced federal Medicaid payments through September.

The Joe Biden administration announced Wednesday it is extending the public health emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic for another 90 days, Reuters reports.

The extension means people can continue to receive free tests, vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.

It also means the state will continue to receive an additional 6.2% increase in the amount of federal Medicaid dollars to help pay the costs of the health care safety net program for the poor elderly and disabled. But the increased funds come with the caveat that Florida cannot remove anyone from the Medicaid program so long as the public health emergency is in effect. As of March 31, Florida’s Medicaid enrollment topped 5.18 million people.

The extension was expected, given that the Biden administration had said states would get 60 days’ advance notice to prepare for the end of the public health emergency.

The latest 90-day extension means the public health emergency will remain in effect until at least July 15.

That means the enhanced Medicaid payment would continue to flow to Florida for the first quarter of the Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget, or through the end of September. That’s because federal Medicaid rules require payments to be consistent through a quarter, or three-month period.

The news of the extension comes as there is mounting political pressure on the Biden administration from congressional Republicans to end the public health emergency.

Conversely, health care providers would prefer the public health emergency to remain in effect due to ongoing workforce shortages and supply chain issues.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


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