From DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: An update on what the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency means for Idaho Medicaid recipients

September 9, 2022
DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

The COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), first declared in January 2020, was most recently renewed on July 15. The next decision about the PHE is not due until Oct. 15, but the federal government has agreed to notify states 60 days before it ends. Since that has not happened, it is expected that the PHE will be renewed in October. This is important to know for Idahoans who receive Medicaid.

The PHE declaration for COVID-19 provided continued Medicaid coverage for Idahoans who may have otherwise become ineligible. When the declaration ends, this protection also ends.

Idaho currently has about 131,000 people on protected Medicaid, which means we do not know if they are still eligible for Medicaid, but their benefits cannot be closed while the PHE is in place unless they request it.

When the 60-day notice is given to states that the PHE will end, DHW will send notices to those recipients telling them about any coming changes in their eligibility or benefits, and if they need to complete a re-evaluation.

We don’t know how many of the 131,000 will still get benefits. We have not had contact with many of them for more than two years because of the PHE. We do not know their current income or resource status.

For reference, about 430,000 people receive Medicaid in Idaho.

If you currently receive Medicaid, please take action to make sure you receive notices about your benefits and re-evaluations. Report any changes in your household information, including your phone number and address.

If your contact information has changed, or you want to confirm your current information, call DHW at 877-456-1233 or email MyBenefits@dhw.idaho.gov. You can also report changes by visiting idalink.idaho.gov.

I hope you have a safe and healthy weekend.