EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — President Joe Biden signed a resolution earlier this week terminating the national emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
White House bill H.J Res. 7 terminates the national emergency related to the pandemic. This means many of the programs and extensions put in place during the pandemic are nearing their end.
“We have like a whole mortgage forgiveness program, that banks and lenders are supposed to work with people during COVID. That’s going to go away,” Dr. Ivan Melendez, Hidalgo County Health Authority said. “There’ll be more restrictions on the benefits available for folks.
Tests and vaccines will be an out-of-pocket expense, and costs will depend on a person’s health care coverage.
“People who cannot access health insurance probably will have disparities in some of those available, rapidly available treatments. But yes, there are going to be situations in which out-of-pocket costs will be different depending on where you have insurance,” Dr. Jose Campo Maldonado Infectious Disease Physician said.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, some Medicaid health waivers related to COVID-19 will end on May 11th.
However, there are some waivers that will remain in place for six more months. Medicaid will still cover COVID-19 treatments until September 30th, 2024.
“40% of the people that are living in Rio Grande Valley are either underinsured or not insured. Of course, we as a population are at great risk,” Melendez said.
While the pandemic may be over, health experts recommend safety guidelines.
“The recommendations are not going just because there is no longer a public health emergency,” Maldonado said. “There is still a need to understand that if we get sick or we get close to someone who is sick, the same rules apply.”