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Fact Sheet: Medicare, Medicaid, and the Uninsured

By: Bethany Cole, Research Assistant for Health Policy
Published: April 2020

This fact sheet focuses on provisions of the COVID-19 legislative packages that directly impact Medicare, Medicaid, and the uninsured population. The bills include many provisions to support the Medicare and Medicaid programs and provide greater access to testing for uninsured patients, however, there are still major gaps related to coverage of COVID-19 treatment, affordability of health coverage, and surprise medical billing.

The COVID-19 response legislation includes various provisions to increase the availability of telehealth and home health services for Medicare beneficiaries, increase provider payments, and ensure coverage of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved COVID-19 testing services with no cost-sharing or utilization management.

Under the COVID-19 response legislation, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are required to cover coronavirus-related testing services with no cost-sharing or utilization management. Medicaid programs are eligible to receive a 6.2 percentage point increase in their Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) from the federal government. Additionally, Medicaid programs may elect to cover COVID-19 testing services for uninsured individuals and states that do so will receive a 100% FMAP federal match for the duration of the public health emergency period.