Stimulus Packages Passed to Respond to COVID-19

Congress has passed three stimulus packages to respond to the clinical and economic toll of the pandemic. The first package (“Phase 1”), passed March 4, provided billions of dollars to federal agencies to combat the virus’s spread and additional funds to ramp up testing. Phase 2 passed ten days later; it covered emergency provisions spanning food aid, paid sick leave, free COVID-19 testing for the uninsured, and unemployment insurance. Cost-sharing for visits relating to testing was waived for Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage, Tricare, Medicaid/CHIP, Veterans, and Indian Health Service. The bill also included a temporary 6.2 percentage point increase to states’ federal medical assistance percentage (the federal portion paid to Medicaid) for coverage of testing for the duration of the public health emergency. Phase 3—a $2 trillion package—passed the house on Friday. PCC is advocating that the direct relief allocated to states, ranging from $1.25 to $10 billion, be used, in part, to help sustain and strengthen primary care practices as they continue to serve as front-line responders.

Update Date: 
March 31, 2020
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