Medicaid and the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Q: What is the Public Health Emergency (PHE)? 

A: The (PHE) was declared in 2020 by the federal government because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The PHE created a “continuous coverage requirement” for Medicaid. This means that people who receive Medicaid have not had to submit an application as they were required to do in the past to maintain coverage.  Since the PHE was declared in 2020, the State has been working to protect the benefits and meet the needs of nearly a third of our residents who depend on Medicaid for their health care.

Q: When is the PHE ending, and what does this mean for Medicaid recipients in Rhode Island?

A: The Federal Government has not yet given an end date for the public health emergency ending. Rhode Island Medicaid does not make the decision on when the PHE ends or is extended.  To stay up to date on the status of the PHE, visit www.phe.gov.

When the PHE ends, RI Medicaid will be required to review each member’s eligibility prior to taking any action on a case. 

Q: What does this mean for you? 

A: The most important thing you can do is to make sure all your information is up to date. This is the best way to be sure the State can reach you with important and time sensitive information. It will also help us keep you connected to health insurance.

Q: How can I update my account information?

A: You can update your account information and communication preferences in several ways:

  • Online:  Access your account at https://healthyrhode.ri.gov/HIXWebI3/. HealthSource RI also hosts a live web chat, which is staffed during business hours, and has live call center staff available to assist customers in English or Spanish.
  • Contact your managed care organization (MCO) – Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, Tufts Health Plan (RITogether) or United Health Care Community Plan (UHCCP) - to update your contact information and be sure to give them permission to share this information with the State. (Option not available to DCYF care and Medicaid-Medicare Plan members)
  • By Phone:  Call the Department of Human Services (DHS) Call Center at 1-855-697-4347 (Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 8:30am-3pm) or HealthSource RI at 1-855-840-4774 (Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 8am-6pm)
  • In Person: Staff at DHS offices (locations available here) can assist customers in person.

Customers who would like assistance with their customer portal account or want to know more information about the technology resources available, can call United Way’s 2-1-1.

Q: How will members know when this will affect them?

A: When it is your turn to renew, you will receive a letter from Medicaid in the mail. If your Medicaid coverage is going to end because you are no longer eligible, you will be given information on how to apply for health insurance through Health Source RI.

You will have an option to receive text messages and email updates. This is a great way for us to share timely information with you.