End of the COVID Public Health Emergency

On January 30, 2023, President Biden announced that the federal government’s COVID Public Health Emergency declaration will end on May 11, 2023. 

Does that mean the pandemic is over?

No. COVID-19 will be with us for a long time, but now we have the tools to manage it better in our day-to-day lives. 

The Public Health Emergency Declaration is a tool that the federal government used to temporarily loosen policies or processes to help everyone get things that they needed during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes things like free COVID vaccines, tests, and treatment; being able to talk with your doctor or health care provider by phone or Zoom; and making sure that people with Medical Assistance and CHIP would not lose their health insurance when they needed it most.

Keep your Medicaid/CHIP Benefits

Medicaid and CHIP

Starting April 1, 2023, if you have Medical Assistance (MA) or Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP), you must complete a renewal each year to continue your coverage. You will start to receive information in the mail about your renewal 90 days before it is due.

1 - Update your Contact Information with DHS

To receive the renewal and other important information, update your address, phone number, or email address here:

  • ONLINE - Visit dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS and log into your My COMPASS Account.
  • PHONE - Call 1-877-395-8930 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • APP - Use the free myCOMPASS PA mobile app.

2 - Complete your MA or CHIP Renewal

It is very important that renewal forms are completed and returned even if nothing has changed. You can renew your MA or CHIP coverage four ways:  

  • MAIL- Complete the forms DHS sends and mail them back in the envelope included in the packet. 
  • IN-PERSON - Drop off the completed forms at the local county assistance office (CAO). 
  • ONLINE - Go to dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS to complete the renewal online. 
  • PHONE - Call 1-866-550-4355 to complete the renewal over the phone.

Additional Help

No insurance?  If you don't qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, you can get insurance through Pennie.

Need mental health or substance use services?  You may qualify for help through Montgomery County. 

Where can you get COVID Vaccination, Tests, and Treatment?

Changes to free COVID vaccination, testing, and treatment are described below:

  1. Costs of COVID resources will depend on the insurance plan. You should confirm with your insurance plan what is changing. 
  2. Free resources may be available through community health centers or the Office of Public Health (Vaccination and Testing).
  1. Vaccine
  2. Testing
  3. Treatment

Getting a COVID Vaccine

COVID vaccines will remain available at no cost while the federal supply is available. Once the federal supply runs out, most insurance types must cover vaccines at no cost. Those who are uninsured will still be able to find free vaccines through the Office of Public Health

Private insurance (including insurance purchased through the Pennie)

Insurance plans must cover the cost of COVID vaccines and boosters. There should be no charge if the vaccine provider is in-network. If you are not sure if your vaccine provider is in-network, call the customer service line on the back of your insurance card to find out. 

Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare

Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare Part B and Part D must provide COVID vaccines and boosters. Use this tool to find free COVID vaccines near you.

No Insurance

People who do not have health insurance can still get free COVID-19 vaccines through the Office of Public Health. Visit our webpage to make an appointment.  

Printable Flyers


How to Keep Your Health Care Coverage - ENGLISH


How to Keep Your Health Care Coverage - SPANISH