Federal COVID-19 emergency benefits to end. What that means for Kentuckians.
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 2: A model of COVID-19, known as coronavirus, is seen ahead of testimony from Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), during a US Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the plan to research, manufacture and distribute a coronavirus vaccine, known as Operation Warp Speed, July 2, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)
The upcoming expiration of federal emergency declarations during the COVID-19 pandemic will mean the end to some benefits Kentuckians enjoyed.
The White House announced on Jan. 30 that it will try to extend the COVID-19 national and public health emergencies, which will expire on March 1 and April 11, to May 11.
When those declarations end, about 240,000 Kentuckians who signed up for “pandemic Medicaid” will need to transition to other coverage.
Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday that between March and June those people who were able to enroll thanks to a simplified system during the pandemic will need to move into regular Medicaid, Medicare or a state plan listed on Kynect.
Make sure your mailing address, phone number and email are all up to date at kynect.ky.gov or by calling at 855-459-6328.
Additionally, Kentuckians may need to pay a copay for vaccinations once the declarations end.
“Please, if you haven’t gotten vaccinated or boosted, please consider it,” Beshear said Thursday. “Now’s the time if you’ve been waiting.”
Where are Kentucky’s COVID-19 levels?
Kentucky’s COVID-19 community levels have fluctuated for weeks. The rate of positive cases dropped for the past four weeks and is at 10%. That number, however, does not take into account at-home tests, which means it is likely higher.
In addition to the positivity rate, COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state declined over the last month. The number of patients in intensive care units and on ventilators fell as well, with one exception. The week ending Jan. 9, 37 Kentuckians with COVID-19 died. That number increased to 59 the week of Jan. 16, fell to 45 on Jan. 23, and rose to 52 on Jan. 30.
Almost 500 Kentuckians were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Jan. 9, a number that was at 294 by Jan. 30. The ventilator census fell from 26 to 24 for the same dates and the ICU census fell from 73 to 56.
About 67% of Kentucky’s population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine. Around 58% are fully vaccinated and 39% are boosted.
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