The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency is Ending Soon— Here’s What you Need to Know

March 17, 2023
The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency is Ending Soon— Here’s What you Need to Know

On Jan. 30, 2023, the Biden Administration announced it will end the public health + national emergency declarations on May 11, 2023. This decision is effecting a few key COVID-19 mandates; read on for everything you need to know before the day comes.

COVID-19 At-Home Tests

After May 11, 2023, at-home tests may become more costly for Americans with insurance. If you’ve been taking advantage of Biden’s reimbursement mandate, you’ll know the facts; for those that haven’t, let us give you the scoop!

The aforementioned mandate allowed Americans with private health insurance + Medicare Advantage (private Medicare plans) to receive up to 8 free at-home COVID-19 tests per month through reimbursement. 

Once the emergency declarations end on May 11th of this year, this allowance will vastly be going away (with only a handful of insurance agencies stating they will make future exceptions).

This process, while seemingly straightforward, can be a bit confusing, from finding your insurance in a master list online to journeying to their actual submission steps. If this seems a touch overwhelming, don’t worry— our On/Go team has stepped in to make it easier for you!

From now until May 11th, 2023, our trained Concierge team is here to help with your reimbursement! 

Email us at [email protected], give our team a call to get started, or visit our online resource page to walk you through the process here.

Our concierge hours are:

8 am - 8 pm EST, Monday - Friday

9 am - 5 pm EST, Saturday - Sunday

PCR and rapid tests 

Although most insured Americans will still have coverage of COVID tests ordered and/or administered by a health professional, these tests may no longer be free to the consumer.

For people with traditional Medicare, there will be no cost for the test itself, but there could be a cost for the doctor’s visit. For people with Medicare Advantage and private insurance, the test and the associated doctor’s visit might both be subject to a cost (depending on your plan). 

For people with Medicaid, there will continue to be free tests through September 2024, after which point, states may limit the number of covered tests or impose nominal cost-sharing.


For those wondering about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, fear not, as nothing is changing after May 11th. The overall availability, access, and costs of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are determined by the supply of federally purchased vaccines, not the public health emergency.

As long as federally purchased vaccines last, COVID-19 vaccines and boosters will remain free to all Americans, regardless of insurance coverage (the providers of federally purchased vaccines are not allowed to charge or deny patients based on their coverage or network status).

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s emergency use authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests will remain in effect, as they are tied to a separate emergency declaration, not the public health emergency that ends in May. This includes your favorite On/Go and On/Go One tests!

COVID-19 Treatment

Americans with public health insurance coverage may start to face new costs associated with pharmaceutical COVID treatments not purchased by the federal government. Medicare beneficiaries may face costs for certain COVID-19 pharmaceutical treatments after May 11, while Medicaid will continue to cover pharmaceutical treatments with no extra cost through September 2024. After that date, these treatments will continue to be covered, but states may impose utilization limits.

For those looking to find a quick and hassle-free solution to COVID-19 treatment from the comfort of your couch, consider our Test to Treat service! With Test to Treat, you may be eligible for free Paxlovid or other COVID-19 antivirals, delivered straight to your door. Click here to learn more!

The Bottom Line

While some big changes are coming when May 11th hits, the On/Go team is here to help you navigate them! Don’t hesitate to reach out to our completely free Concierge service for further resources and assistance. 

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