Holcomb signs public health emergency extension through end of December

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 12:38 PM EST
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INDIANAPOLIS (WPTA) - As expected, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb formally extended the public health emergency for the state through Dec. 31, 2021.

Holcomb last week said he intended to issue the Executive Order, as state lawmakers were unable to take the steps he deemed necessary to allow the public health emergency to expire. His office, on Wednesday, reiterated the three provisions of concern:

First, Indiana is eligible to receive enhanced federal funding for Medicaid programs to help cover the increased costs of 500,000 Hoosiers who have enrolled in the programs because of the pandemic. So far, the state has received $972 million in enhanced funding. The state would lose more than $175 million in future funding through March 2022 and about 250,000 Hoosiers would lose partial or full Medicaid coverage if the state public health emergency ends before the federal public health emergency.

The executive orders allow 200,000 eligible households to receive an additional $95 per month in federal food assistance. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) emergency allotment provides nutrition for more than 600,000 Hoosiers.

In addition, the state’s public health emergency allows the state health commissioner to serve as the statewide ordering physician for those who choose to be vaccinated, including children five and older. This offers easy access to vaccines through pharmacies, local health departments and other health facilities.

Holcomb said a further continuation of the public health emergency “may be deemed necessary” beyond Dec. 31.

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