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U.S. COVID-19 public health emergency ending in May. Here’s what it means for the Down syndrome community.



On January 30th, 2023, the Biden Administration announced that the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) will end on May 11, 2023. For the Down syndrome community in Minnesota, here’s what to know:

1. Medical Assistance (MA) renewals will begin again.

Under the PHE, renewals for MA have been frozen. This has allowed for continuous coverage of MA during the public health emergency. When the PHE ends in May, MA members will need to complete the renewal process that is typically done each year.

Right now MA members should make sure their MA contact information is up to date, especially if there has been a move in the last three years. MA and MA funded services rely on postal mail to communicate so having an updated address is vital to avoid a lapse in coverage or services. Visit https://mn.gov/dhs/mycontactinfo/ to make updates for address, phone number and email.

2. Special allowances for disability services will end.

The PHE has allowed certain flexibility with staffing for PCA services during COVID-19. It has allowed parents to provide PCA services for their minor children with disabilities through the state funded PCA Program. Once the PHE ends in May, it is anticipated that parents will no longer be able to provide PCA services for minors through the PCA Program. Paid Parent of Minor (PPOM) through the CSG grant or through waivers are not affected by this. Families can expect to receive more information about this change from their county as details become available.

Here at DSAMn, we understand that this change in allowance regarding PCA staffing will impact families in our community and that a lot of questions and concerns are likely to arise. DSAMn's Family Connectors are currently working hard to understand and prepare for these upcoming changes in order to help families navigate any transitions that might be necessary. We are looking to Minnesota’s Department of Human Services for more guidance and communicating regularly with counties across the state about these pending changes.

DSAMn knows first hand how confusing and overwhelming these programs, processes and changes can be for families in our community. Please reach out to the Family Connector team at any time- DSAMn is here for you!

Connect@dsamn.org or 651-603-0720, Ext. 2


Reference:
https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/what-happens-when-covid-19-emergency-declarations-end-implications-for-coverage-costs-and-access/