HHS Secretary: Medicaid Providers Cannot Charge Patients for PPE 

Secretary of Human Services Teresa Miller answers questions from the press.Governor Tom Wolf announced that people with intellectual disabilities and autism and the providers of support services for these vulnerable Pennsylvanians will receive $260 million in CARES Act funding to help continue to provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Wolf was joined by Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller, who outlined to details of funding allocations. JUNE 15, 2020 – HARRISBURG, PA

Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Human Services (DHS) today advised Medicaid providers that Medicaid recipients may not be charged for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used in connection with medical or dental services.

“While we are moving in the right direction in managing the COVID-19 public health crisis, people still need to be able to access health care coverage to protect themselves and their family,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “No one should go without seeking health care because they cannot afford an extra charge. That’s why we are reminding providers of their responsibility in continuing to provide access to health care, and that they are prohibited from seeking or receiving any additional payments for PPE they may use.”

While not a widespread issue, DHS had heard that a small number of providers were considering billing patients for PPE used during care. DHS has determined that PPE is a supply and is part of the provider’s overhead and cost of doing business. Providers cannot charge Medicaid beneficiaries for any PPE that is used in connection with a Medicaid-covered medical or dental service. More information for providers can be found here.

Medicaid and CHIP enroll individuals throughout the year and do not have a limited or special enrollment time, so people needing health coverage can apply for these programs at any time. There are income limits for Medicaid, but all children qualify for coverage through CHIP.

To apply for Medicaid or CHIP, visit www.compass.state.pa.us or, if preferred, paper documentation can be mailed to their local County Assistance Office (CAO) or left in a CAO’s secure drop box, if available. While CAOs remain closed, work processing applications, determining eligibility, and issuing benefits continues.

Visit pa.gov for a “Responding to COVID-19” guide or the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s dedicated Coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

Guidance to DHS providers related to COVID-19 is available here.