The federal government ended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency effective May 11, 2023. This webpage serves as a record of changes that occurred during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. For current information, please visit the Stay Informed page.
Have questions about testing and vaccination availability, test results or travel guidance? Please contact the Vermont Department of Health for more information. Visit the Vermont Department of Health COVID-19 website or call 1-855-722-7878.
Provider and Member Communication
The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) announced that health care providers and organizations across Northern New England and New York will soon be able to apply for grant funds from the agency’s partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The partnership will award nearly $2 million in federal funds through the Rural Northern Border Region Healthcare Support Program. For more information please visit the NBRC News Release.
- The Biden Administration has launched a new COVID-19 Toolkit, COVID.gov. Visit the new one-stop shop website to help gain access to vaccines, tests, treatments, masks, and the latest COVID-19 information in your community.
- Get free at-home COVID-19 tests through the federal program. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests are completely free. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. Order your tests now.
- Please note that per Medicaid rule, Vermont Medicaid/Green Mountain Care is not allowed to reimburse members directly for purchasing antigen test kits. Therefore, members may only receive test kits (at no cost) when pharmacies bill them directly to Medicaid with a valid prescription.
- For more information about Vermont Medicaid Coverage for At-Home COVID-19 Antigen Tests, visit the DVHA Health and Vaccine Updates section below.
Eligibility and Enrollment:
During the COVID-19 federal public health emergency (different from the State of Emergency), Vermont is facilitating initial and continuous health care enrollment by:
- Extending Medicaid coverage periods (meaning the Department is not processing the annual “reviews” that could result in loss of Medicaid);
- Not ending Medicaid coverage unless the member requests it or moves out of state (as of January 2021, Vermont is processing transitions between Medicaid coverage groups as required by the federal government);
- Temporarily waiving Dr. Dynasaur premiums;
- Temporarily waived financial verifications required for those seeking to enroll in Medicaid. As of November 2021, Vermont resumed the process of asking new Medicaid applicants for financial documentation when needed. This does not impact existing Medicaid members;
Members may also visit the Department of Vermont Health Access website or the Vermont Health Connect website to learn more about health insurance through Vermont Medicaid and Vermont’s health insurance marketplace, Vermont Health Connect.
American Rescue Plan Act:
The American Rescue Plan Act has broad implications for the work of the Department of Vermont Health Access and will have a significant impact for many Vermonters. Please visit the webpage the Department has developed dedicated to FAQs regarding the American Rescue Plan Act: American Rescue Plan FAQ. (1/31/2022)
Health and Testing Updates:
For all up-to-date health and vaccine updates regarding COVID-19, please visit the Vermont Department of Health website.
At-Home COVID-19 Tests
- Vermont Medicaid Coverage for At-Home COVID-19 Antigen Tests through Pharmacies.
Vermont Medicaid members can get free at home (antigen) COVID-19 tests through pharmacies participating with Vermont Medicaid. Vermont Medicaid will not reimburse members for payments made out-of-pocket for COVID-19 tests. To get a free at home COVID-19 test, members must get the test at a pharmacy where Vermont Medicaid is accepted. To find a Pharmacy or Provider who participate with Vermont Medicaid, check at the Vermont Medicaid Provider Lookup.
These tests are to be used by Medicaid members in the home setting. Copayments do not apply to COVID-19 tests including tests for at-home use. COVID-19 testing must be in accordance with CDC and Vermont Department of Health guidance on when testing is appropriate.
- For Providers:
Medicaid-participating providers are instructed to consult pages 101-102 of the OTC Drug List for tests covered by Vermont Medicaid. Vermont Medicaid-enrolled pharmacists can be the prescribing provider on the pharmacy claim in accordance with the provisions of the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act. Vermont Medicaid does not require that a medical provider order the antigen tests. Tests may be obtained through pharmacies in one of the following ways:
a. through the use of Dr. Levine’s standing order;
b. through the pharmacy’s own standing order (most chains have these); or
c. the pharmacist can write the prescription if they are enrolled as a Medicaid provider.
For more information on the proposed policy that is publicly posted, visit: Pharmacy COVID-19 Antigen Test Coverage.
For more information for pharmacies, view:
- Update on Pharmacy COVID-19 Antigen Test Coverage (01/28/22)
- Pharmacy COVID-19 Antigen Test Coverage (12/16/21).
Long-Term Care Medicaid:
- Vermont temporarily accepted self-attestations for applicants for Long-Term Care Medicaid. For applications received on and after October 5, 2020, normal processes apply, including verification of income, resources, and review of the transfer of assets during the 60-month look back period. More time may be allowed to provide requested verification.
- The review period for Long-Term Care Medicaid members who had a review scheduled during the emergency period will be extended.
- All Provider questions and concerns should be sent via EMAIL to the DVHA LTC Management Team at: AHS.DVHALTCMGMT@vermont.gov
- Important Information for Treatment Related to COVID-19. (3/21/22)
- Update on Pharmacy COVID-19 Antigen Test Coverage. (1/28/22)
- Pharmacy COVID-19 Antigen Test Coverage. (12/16/2021)
For more COVID-19 communications, visit the Pharmacy and Prescriber Communications page.
Federal Provider Relief
- The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) announced that health care providers and organizations across Northern New England and New York will soon be able to apply for grant funds from the agency’s partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The partnership will award nearly $2 million in federal funds through the Rural Northern Border Region Healthcare Support Program.
HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will present a virtual informational webinar on Thursday, May 5, 2022, from 11-12 PM EST. This webinar will provide an overview of this upcoming funding opportunity focused on increasing access to care, workforce, and value-based efforts through technical assistance. No registration is required. For more information and to join via the Zoom link, please visit the NBRC News Release. (4/28/2022)
- Federal Public Health Emergency Determination Renewed: Effective January 11, 2023, the determination that a federal public health emergency exists is renewed and will be in effect 90 days.
- Important Information for Treatment Related to COVID-19. (3/24/2022)
- Supplies that are incidental to a provider’s practice may not be billed separately to Vermont Medicaid nor to Medicaid members. Specifically, the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) is not eligible for Medicaid reimbursement and any costs associated with the purchase of PPE may not be charged to Medicaid members. (1/31/2022)
Telehealth, Telemedicine and Telephonic Coverage:
(For additional information visit the DVHA Telehealth webpage)
Provider Update to Telehealth Registration Requirements for Out of State. Effective April 1, 2022.
Vermont Medicaid-participating providers are encouraged to continue the use of telemedicine for health care delivery when possible. For more information visit the Telehealth Resources webpage. For dental providers further information can be found on Vermont Medicaid Continuing Telemedicine Coverage for Dental Services.
- Vermont Medicaid Payments for Telephonic Services Furnished During the Emergency Response to COVID-19: Reference Charts.
Coverage of telehealth services including audio-only or telephonic services is not affected by the ending of the Federal Public Health Emergency on May 11, 2023. Vermont Medicaid is reviewing the list of telephone-only services to identify those that will continue going forward. Telephone-only services must be medically necessary and clinically appropriate for delivery through audio-only means.
- Eligible Vermonters can continue to apply for, and enroll in, Medicaid at any time.
- Provider reimbursement for COVID-19 testing, vaccination, and treatment services for uninsured individuals is ending soon.