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End Of California COVID Emergency Won't Affect Insurance, But End Of National Health Emergency Will

A hospital gurney is located inside a white tent
A room for patients at the Mobile Isolation unit outside of the VA Hospital in Westwood.
(Chava Sanchez
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The end of California’s COVID-19 emergency public health order in February won’t affect your insurance coverage. But when the nationwide version expires, getting treatment for COVID-19 will likely be more expensive.

How will my coverage be affected? That depends on what type of insurance you have. The largest impact will be on Medi-Cal recipients who haven’t been required to renew their coverage during the pandemic. Whenever the public health emergency expires, Medi-Cal will resume its regular renewal process over the next 14 months. The California Health Care Foundation estimates 2 to 3 million people may leave the program, and millions of people will likely need help transitioning to other insurance.

How will it impact costs? People without insurance will no longer be able to get tested or treated for COVID-19 through Medi-Cal. Medicare and privately insured people will see cost-sharing and additional out-of-pocket costs for treatment if they contract COVID-19, though vaccines will remain free.

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When will the national emergency end? The nationwide COVID-19 emergency declarations (there are a few) must be extended every 90 days and were recently continued through Jan. 11, 2023. The Biden administration has said it will give states a 60 day notice before it ends the nationwide public health emergency.