Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra has formally extended the Public Health Emergency (PHE) to January 11, 2023. The Biden administration has indicated it will provide a 60-day notice period prior to the PHE end date. Since no notice was received in November, we expect the PHE will be extended.
Preparing for the End of COVID-19: Return to Normal Renewals
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the federal government declared a public health emergency (PHE). For the duration of the PHE, states are required to continue health care coverage for all medical assistance programs, even if a member’s eligibility changes.
AHCCCS will soon return to normal Medicaid enrollment and renewal processes. We’re working with community partners, advocates and members to make sure eligible Arizonans are able to continue receiving high quality health care coverage.
We need your help to meet this goal.
You can help our members take steps to get ready now. To ensure that members do not experience any gap in health care coverage, AHCCCS asks all members to:
- Ensure that their mailing address, phone number, and email address on file is correct in www.healthearizonaplus.gov, or by calling Health-e-Arizona Plus at 1-855-HEA-PLUS (1-855-432-7587), Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Review the Updating Your Contact Information flier to learn how to update your contact information in Health-e-Arizona PLUS.
- Check their mailbox for a letter from AHCCCS about renewal of coverage.
- Respond to any requests from AHCCCS for more information so the agency can accurately determine eligibility.
For more help, members may contact their health plan or a community assistor organization. There are several community assistor organizations who can help individuals navigate the Medicaid or CHIP (the Children's Health Insurance Program, called KidsCare in Arizona) renewal process. Health plan member services departments can assist as well. AHCCCS members can find the number for their health plan’s members services department on their member ID card or on the AHCCCS Available Health Plans web page.
After the end of the federal public health emergency, individuals who no longer qualify for AHCCCS or KidsCare may have other health care coverage options through the Health Care Marketplace. See HealthCare.gov or call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).
Resources for Communities
- Member Awareness of PHE Flier [English] [Spanish], 4/5/22
- Get Ready To Renew Flier [English] [Spanish], 4/8/22
- How AHCCCS Is Planning for the End of the Public Health Emergency. (news release)
- Unwinding COVID-19 Programmatic Flexibilities, 5/12/22
- Summary of Public Health Emergency Operational Unwinding Plan, 7/14/22
Resources for MCOs
- End of PHE Member and Provider Messaging, May 2022
- End of PHE Member and Provider Messaging, Feb. 2022
- End of PHE Member and Provider Messaging, Dec. 2021
- Returned Mail Best Practices, 3/17/22
- Frequently Asked Questions, 4/18/22
- Returning to Normal Provider Enrollment web page
Frequently Asked Questions
- WHAT IS THE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT MEMBERS?
Answer: At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government declared a public health emergency (PHE). During the PHE, Medicaid agencies have not disenrolled most members, even if someone's eligibility changed.
- WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN THE PHE ENDS? Answer: We expect the PHE will end in the summer of 2022 and we need to prepare for it now. Here’s what will happen:
- State policy amendments and coverage of COVID-19 testing for the uninsured end immediately (day of),
- The state will lose the 6.2 percent enhanced federal funding (FMAP) at the end of the quarter,
- KidsCare and Freedom to Work premiums will eventually be reinstated, and
- After a renewal is completed for each member, coverage will end for members who are no longer eligible. AHCCCS has up to 12 months to initiate a renewal for members whose eligibility was continued due to the public health emergency.
- Make sure your mailing address, phone number, and email address is correct by logging into www.healthearizonaplus.gov, or by calling Health-e-Arizona Plus at 1-855-HEA-PLUS (1-855-432-7587), Monday through Friday 7:00 am - 6:00 pm.
- Check your mailbox for a letter from AHCCCS about renewal of coverage.
- Respond to any requests from AHCCCS for more information so the agency can accurately determine your eligibility.
- No, AHCCCS and the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) will update all information for members enrolled in foster care.
- Answer: AHCCCS will have up to 12 months from the end of the PHE to make sure Medicaid members are still eligible for coverage. We will not cancel or reduce a member’s coverage without asking for updated information through the renewal process.
- Answer: If AHCCCS determines that you no longer qualify for Medicaid, you will receive:
- Notice of when your enrollment will end,
- Information on how to appeal that decision if you believe the disenrollment was in error, and
- Information about options for purchasing other health care coverage from the Healthcare.gov Healthcare Marketplace.
- Answer: Yes, AIHP and Fee-for-Service members, including Federal Emergency Services enrollees, are included in the renewal process.
- Answer: AHCCCS is working with partners across the state to reach members in rural areas, those without internet access, and those experiencing homelessness.
- Answer: Contact the Social Security Administration to begin your application for Medicare. Your Medicare or Medicare Part D coverage will become effective only at certain times of the year, depending on when you apply.
- If you did not sign up for Medicare or Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage when you turned 65, you may be required to pay higher out-of-pocket costs for your monthly premiums. Contact the Social Security Administration Medicare or Medicare (www.Medicare.gov or (1-800-MEDICARE) with questions
- Depending on your situation, you may be eligible to participate in the Medicare Savings Program for some of your Medicare costs. During their renewal period, AHCCCS will help members determine whether they qualify for other AHCCCS programs.
- For more help with Medicare questions contact the Arizona State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at 1-800-432-4040 or des.az.gov/services/older-adults/medicare-assistance.