Certain health care changes to come with end of Public Health Emergency
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Two days ago, COVID-19 regulations were terminated but the White House stated that it wont affect the separate public health emergency scheduled to end in May.
Free covid tests, vaccines, boosters, and other treatments will no longer be funded by the government by May 11.
“The biggest thing is that prior to May 11, if I’ve got a fever and a cough or a sore throat and I am concerned that I may have COVID, I can go to my doctor and they can swab me for COVID or do a PCR test with a swab and it doesn’t cost me anything,” explains Todd Bell, MD, Public Health Authority with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Pharmacists and public health authorities say the emergency declaration with COVID helped increase access to healthcare services.
“One of the things that did was decrease or eliminate the costs of a lot of things that you can do to help prevent covid,” said Crockett Tidewell, Pharmacist and Clinical Services Manager at United Supermarkets.
Bell warns that while the national emergency for COVID has been terminated, the virus itself can still be contracted.
“It’s not that COVID is going away. COVID is continuing to be here, as a matter of fact, unfortunately, we’ve lost 22 friends and neighbors and Potter and Randall counties, actually, since the first of the year,” says Bell.
After May 11, pricing for COVID related treatments will depend on each individual’s health insurance coverage.
“Most insurances will still cover vaccines, but not all will and certainly folks who don’t have insurance. That’s going to be something that would be a big out-of-pocket cost, to try to get a booster shot later on in the year,” continued Bell.
Many health care experts say these changes will impact many people significantly.
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