As part of our core values, AIDPH supports connection to evidence-based resources and collaborations with national partners- core values that resonate more deeply as we navigate this international crisis as a community.
Our partners at Families USA and Community Catalyst have compiled resources for the oral health and broader public health communities to consider as we consider policy responses to the COVD-19 outbreak. You’ll find an update from them below.
Summary of policy landscape (more detailed policy updates here; compendium of oral health specific coronavirus resources here):
What is Congress doing that most directly affects our work?
Last week, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which included, among other things, a temporary 6.2% increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for state Medicaid programs and coverage for COVID-19 testing with no cost-sharing across public health insurance programs.
A new COVID-19 relief package, crafted by the Senate includes both health and economic provisions but remains tied up in negotiations, having failed a procedural vote on Monday. Some of the notable health-related provisions put forth thus far include:
- Requirements for private health insurers to cover COVID-19 testing and certain preventive services at no cost
- Authorization of $1.32 billion in supplemental funding to health centers
- Additional funding for the Telehealth Network Grant Program administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration.
House Democrats introduced a more robust package late Monday that includes much more support for state Medicaid programs, among other things. It is unclear if any of these things will be adopted by the Senate.
Currently, the Senate bill does not go far enough to ensure that states are able to meet the increased demand for care during this crisis. Keeping Medicaid programs strong is vital to state economies, to effective health care provision, and to defending oral health coverage and access over the long term. Many advocates are asking the Senate to:
- Further increase the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for state Medicaid programs. The 6.2% FMAP increase in the first law is likely insufficient to stabilize Medicaid programs across the country. This type of increase is included in the version of the House bill released Monday night.
We also invite you to join a Families USA webinar taking place this Friday, 3/27 at 2pm ET on State Health Coverage Strategies for COVID-19. It is not an oral health specific resource, but offers broad look at the policy options available to states to strengthen Medicaid and private insurance coverage and expand access to care in light of the pandemic.
Post authored by:
Annaliese Cothron | Executive Director
The American Institute of Dental Public Health