Medical Assistance continuous coverage requirement ends

Alicia Colombo

The following information was provided by Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.


Anyone currently enrolled in Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program, also known as Medical Assistance (MA), should make sure their contact information is correct so they can receive timely updates about their benefits. Under new federal law, continuous MA eligibility will be separated from the public health emergency and will end on April 1. By keeping contact information up-to-date, recipients of MA will receive timely, necessary updates about their coverage and benefits, so they are ready when it is time to renew their coverage.

These changes come following passage of the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 and will force states to resume normal MA renewal determination processes after April 1.

“Recent federal law changes Medicaid renewal guidelines, and we need everyone to know what they need to do to stay covered,” said Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Val Arkoosh. “In order to keep as many Pennsylvanians covered as possible, DHS needs the most accurate information available in our system so that when it is time to complete their annual renewal, Pennsylvanians can submit their renewal quickly and easily. Take the time now to ensure that your information is correct so when your renewal is due, you have what you need to avoid a potential disruption in coverage.”

Outreach to MA recipients has already begun and will continue to include mail, text, email and phone calls to make certain beneficiaries are aware of the federal action affecting their benefits.

Changes to federal policy
The federal public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed for individuals to continue to remain enrolled in MA, even if they became ineligible based on regular eligibility criteria. This is also known as the MA continuous coverage requirement. On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 into law, which affects continuous MA coverage requirements.

No one will lose their health coverage without having an opportunity to complete a renewal, which will be completed over 12 months. Renewals due in March 2023 will be the first affected by the end of continuous coverage. If a person is found ineligible for the current coverage or does not complete their renewal on time, their MA coverage will end. Pennsylvanians who are no longer eligible for MA will be referred to other sources of affordable medical coverage, like Pennie – Pennsylvania’s health and dental insurance marketplace, so they have no lapse in quality, affordable health care.

Prepare for renewals
Information about when a person’s annual renewal is scheduled can be found online at dhs.pa.gov/compass or on the myCOMPASS PA mobile app. Beneficiaries without computer or mobile access can call DHS’ Customer Service Center at 215-560-7226, weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pennsylvanians whose contact information or personal circumstances have changed can use COMPASS to make the following updates to their case file at any time:

  • Number of people living in your household.
  • Email address.
  • Phone number.
  • Mailing address.

COMPASS also allows users to sign up to receive e-notifications about their benefits. Keeping information up to date will help Pennsylvanians receive reminders about their annual benefit renewal quickly, so they can prevent an avoidable lapse in coverage or services. Additionally, DHS encourages Pennsylvanians to opt-in to text messages to receive information about their benefits.


For more information about the end of continuous coverage for Medical Assistance, call 1-866-550-4355 or visit dhs.pa.gov/phe. For more information on health insurance options available to Pennsylvanians, call 1-844-844-804 or visit pennie.org.

Categories: Finances Health Milestones eNews

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