Medicaid’s Role in Disasters and Public Health Emergencies

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March 2018

Medicaid plays an important role in assisting states and localities respond to natural or man-made disasters and other public health emergencies. As part of routine program operations, Medicaid has provided states with matching funds to help offset unanticipated costs associated with disasters and in some cases, a declaration of an emergency or disaster has allowed the program to provide a heightened response, for example by facilitating short-term changes to program rules affecting eligibility, benefits, and provider payment.

This brief describes the statutory authorities under which declarations of emergencies are made and the Medicaid authorities available to respond to these crises. It concludes by discussing the role Medicaid has played in recent disasters and public health crises.

Publication Type: Issue Briefs

Tags: benefits, eligibility, financing, payment, waivers