News

March 15, 2023

ACDHS Recommendations for End of Public Health Emergency

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced that the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration, which allows families and individuals to get COVID-19-related benefits and automatic coverages, will expire on May 11, 2023.

Many PHE benefits will terminate before this date, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) emergency allotments, which expired at the end of February 2023, and continuous Medical Assistance eligibility and enrollment, which will end on April 1, 2023.

To better support families through the transition, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (ACDHS) issued the following recommendations:

How will the end of the PHE declaration affect families and individuals in Allegheny County?

Continuous Medical Assistance eligibility and enrollment will end April 1, 2023.

Everyone on Medical Assistance and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will need to renew their application.

Starting in April, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (PA DHS) will send renewals over a 12-month period.

Recipients will need to:

  1. keep their contact information up-to-date, and
  2. respond quickly to any correspondence that they receive, even if nothing has changed. Not responding will result in a loss of coverage.

This will affect everyone in Allegheny County who receives Medical Assistance and CHIP.

SNAP benefits ended in February 2023

During the PHE, all SNAP households received at least an additional $95/month. Without this additional support, more than 166,000 people receiving SNAP benefits in Allegheny County may need food assistance.

How can families and individuals prepare for this transition?

Families and individuals receiving Medical Assistance or CHIP:

Families and individuals receiving Medical Assistance or CHIP should update their contact information in COMPASS. The Department of Human Services will send important notices in the mail about renewals, so it is very important that contact information be up-to-date.

Log into dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS to update your contact information, or call the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930, if you prefer not to use the online portal.

Families and individuals receiving SNAP benefits:

SNAP benefits have decreased, so some families and individuals may be struggling to secure enough food.

Anyone who needs food assistance can call 2-1-1 or look at the food bank’s food locator tool.

Households with pregnant individual(s) or children under the age of 5:

If someone in your household is pregnant or under the age of 5, WIC can help connect you to food resources.

Learn more about WIC at PAWIC.com and, if you are interested in WIC resources, fill out the pre-application on that page.

Additional Resources

Medicaid and CHIP

Community Care Behavioral Health is available to assist members and providers with eligibility questions and support. Members can call 1-844-488-5336. Providers can call 1-888-251-2224.

SNAP

Just Harvest can help people apply for SNAP, as well as other benefits.

For more information about SNAP Emergency Allotments, the February change, and how to report changes to benefits, visit dhs.pa.gov/SNAPCares.

Food Resources in Allegheny County

ELRC Region 5 has curated a list of food resources provided by organizations in Allegheny County.

To find the food list, visit https://elrc5.alleghenycounty.us/news/2023-food-resources.