In response to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is allocating $15 billion to Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers. Additionally, HHS will also be distributing $10 billion to US safety net hospitals providing medical care to vulnerable citizens regardless of insurance status. These funds come from the Provider Relief Fund of the CARES Act, a bipartisan fund created to help health care organizations during the pandemic.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar emphasized that health care providers treating the most vulnerable Americans are “absolutely essential to our fight against COVID-19.” Medicaid and CHIP are essential programs that provide coverage for more than 70 million Americans, including individuals with disabilities. This funding, thus, came at an essential time to ensure the viability of these care providers.
The Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care Chairman David Totaro thanked HHS for the support, stating “[i]f HCBS providers are unable to continue delivering these health-sustaining services, at-risk populations will experience exacerbated chronic conditions or disabilities.” HHS began disbursing the payments on June 10. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to continue maintaining care for pre-existing conditions. In an emergency, dial 911 immediately.
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