Millions at Risk of Losing Health Insurance & Other Benefits This January

It’s been almost 3 years since the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) first declared the Covid-19 pandemic a public health emergency. And now, the Biden Administration is indicating that the emergency declaration will not be renewed this winter. And is telling healthcare providers to begin preparing for the end of the public health emergency.


When the public health emergency does end, HHS estimates that up to 15 million people will be disenrolled from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). With all of these people losing their insurance, the question becomes how will they get coverage?

“The Pandemic Is Over”

illustration of a medical face mask laying discarded on the ground
In September, President Joe Biden declared that the pandemic was over.

In September, President Joe Biden declared that the pandemic was over, even though Covid still presents a risk to Americans. His declaration means that HHS is unlikely to renew the emergency declaration that is set to expire on January 11.


HHS will give the public 60 days’ notice before lifting the public health emergency. Which not only allowed Americans to receive health insurance, but also to receive increased food benefits through government nutrition programs.


Nutrition experts fear that millions of families will face hunger. While hospitals are concerned that there will be a healthcare worker shortage. And pharmacies are concerned that it might be more difficult for people to access vaccines without a public health emergency. 

“We’re in the third year of the pandemic. We’ve gone through hell. We’ve sacrificed. We’ve used all kinds of emergency powers,” said Lawrence Gostin, an expert on health law at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

“So if you’re going to end all that, you have to end it in a transparent way honestly with the American public about what they gain and what they lose,” Gostin said.

Millions Will Lose Coverage

More people became eligible for Medicaid and CHIP during the public health emergency. So, enrollment increased 26% during the pandemic to a record of more than 89 million people. But with the public health emergency ending, 15 million people will no longer have Medicaid and CHIP. While some of these people might be eligible for subsidized coverage through the ACA, there is a fear that many will end up uninsured.

According to HHS, in 12 states that haven’t expanded Medicaid, as many as 383,000 people are expected to fall into a gap in which their incomes are too high to meet their state’s eligibility for Medicaid, which guarantees coverage for the poor. But too low to qualify for discounted insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Finding An Affordable Plan When the Health Emergency Endshand putting coins into a black piggy bank with coins surrounding the piggy bank

If you’re unsure if you can afford a healthcare plan, it’s worth looking into what is available in your area. There are currently provisions in place that could help you save a lot of money on insurance, like:

  • If you earn under 400% of the federal poverty level, you can receive subsidies to purchase health insurance through the ACA Marketplace.
  • The American Rescue Plan Act requires that Americans pay no more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance premiums. And provides a larger tax credit to people who already receive financial assistance.

Speak to an EZ.Insure agent about what programs are available to help you save and get the coverage you need. 

We get that trying to find a great plan while saving as much money as possible is not easy; it can be time-consuming and downright frustrating. But EZ is here to help. Our agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the nation, making it easier and faster to compare plans in your area. In fact, we can compare plans in your area for you and your family in minutes! We will provide you with an agent who will find a plan that covers your medical needs. And will allow you to stay within your budget. 


And unlike other companies who just want to make a dime off you, we want to help you stay healthy by finding a great plan that won’t break the bank. That’s why all of our services are free! To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above. Or to speak to a licensed local agent, call 888-350-1890.

Will You Vaccinate Your Child? Coronavirus Vaccine For Ages 5-11 Are “Ready” To Go

We have had the Covid-19 vaccine for almost a year now; the Pfizer version is now fully approved for adults and for children 12 and older, so the focus is now naturally on availability for children ages 5-11. On November 2, The FDA finally approved emergency use of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children 5-11 years old, and federal officials say they are ready to begin administering as many as 20 million doses of the vaccine to children across the U.S. That is enough doses to give 2 shots to all 28 million eligible children ages 5-11. So why has it taken so long for us to get to this point, and will we soon see a large number of young children being vaccinated in this country?

Why The Push For a Vaccine?covid vaccine vial and needle with a virus next to the needle

At the beginning of the pandemic, children rarely got severely ill from Covid-19, but the Delta variant has changed that: almost 30,000 children were hospitalized in August alone from the highly contagious variant. Not only that, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, one in four children were infected with Covid last month: that makes a grand total of nearly 5.9 million Americans younger than 18 having been infected, with roughly 791 dead from the virus, 172 of them ages 5-11. 

“With new cases in children in the U.S. continuing to be at a high level, this submission is an important step in our ongoing effort against Covid-19,” a Pfizer official said.

Why the Delay?

The vaccine has taken much longer to be administered to children than to adults because, as experts point out, creating a vaccine for children is not merely a matter of reducing the dose of the adult version by a predetermined amount. That means researchers have been hard at work determining the correct formulation and have put the children’s version of the shot through vigorous trials. 

The Trialwoman in a lab coat looking at viales

The Pfizer vaccine trial included 2,268 children, two-thirds of whom received two 10-microgram doses of the vaccine 3 weeks apart; the other participants were injected with 2 doses of saltwater placebo. The data the drug companies presented to the FDA showed that the vaccine was 90.7% effective against symptomatic Covid. The antibody response to the vaccine was comparable to the one seen in people 16 to 25 years old.

The most common side effects were pain at the injection site, fatigue, and head and muscle aches, but kids who get the vaccine feel “ultimately fine in two or three days,” says Dr. Ibukunoluwa Kalu, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist at Duke University. The Pfizer vaccine has also been linked to rare cases of heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults, particularly young men, but Pfizer has said they did not see any instances of heart inflammation in the trial participants.

The two drug makers (Pfizer and BioNTech) are also testing the vaccine in children ages 2 to 5 years old and children ages 6 months to 2 years, with data expected in the fourth quarter.

Guidelines for Children Getting Vaccinated

After November 2nd, when the FDA approved the emergency authorization of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, millions of doses began being shipped across the country. Each child will have to take 2 10-microgram doses of the vaccine (which is about one-third of the adult dose), 3 weeks apart to be considered fully vaccinated. 

Experts are recommending that, even if the child was exposed to Covid, they should still get the vaccine, since natural immunity offers some protection, but no one is sure how long this natural immunity lasts. It is also recommended that children continue to wear masks indoors after getting vaccinated. 

Will You Vaccinate Your Children?question mark with a red dot

State and federal officials, along with healthcare providers, believe that vaccinating children is more challenging than vaccinating adults. 

Pediatricians are urging parents not to wait: “You can’t wait until millions and millions of doses are given before you decide, because this virus is going to take every opportunity it can to infect someone,” says Dr. Tina Tan, pediatrician and infectious disease specialist at Northwestern and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

“Because the delta variant is that much more transmissible, kids can get delta and can get quite sick from it,” says Tan. “You cannot predict — in a normal healthy child — who’s going to get very sick and who’s not. [Vaccinating] is the best way to protect your child against getting severe COVID illness.”

However, parents are still divided on whether they will give their children the vaccine, or wait until they “see how it goes.” According to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, about a third of parents of young children have said they are willing to wait longer to give their children the vaccine, one-third have said they are willing to give it to their children “right away,” and the remaining third have made it clear that they will “definitely not” get the Covid-19 vaccine for their children.

Yet Another New Covid-19 Variant Is Spreading Across The US

Just when we thought things were returning to normal, a new Covid-19 variant has reared its ugly head. The variant known as BA.2 was first detected months ago, and is spreading quickly across the U.S. According to the CDC, this new variant is becoming the dominant strain of Covid, since it has been doubling each week for the past month. So what can we expect from this new strain?

The Spread of BA.2

red virus with a network connected in the background

This new Covid-19 variant, BA.2, is even more transmissible than the strain that came before it, the omicron variant. It made up 3% of cases in NJ and NY at the end of the week of March 12,  up 25% from the previous week! In the West, it has accounted for 27.7% of cases, up 17.1%.

But, while it’s clear that this new variant is more transmissible than others that came before it, what is unclear is if this new variant is more lethal than previous ones. “We often don’t know until it’s too late,” said Stephanie Silvera, an infectious disease specialist at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. “That’s been the problem with managing these surges. Deaths are one of the last impacts we see.”

“It’s difficult to predict how Covid-19 variants or any other emerging respiratory virus will evolve over time and what their specific impacts will be,” said Dr. Tina Tan, New Jersey state epidemiologist. “And it is hard to predict whether a surge in BA.2 will translate to increased hospitalizations or deaths at this time.”

Will the Vaccine Protect Against BA.2?

According to British scientists, the current vaccines have been shown to be effective in preventing severe illness from the new strain, but they might not prevent infection. Some experts are remaining hopeful, though. 

“…Hopefully, we won’t see a surge. I don’t think we will,” Chief Medical Advisor to the president Dr. Anthony Fauci said. “The easiest way to prevent that is to continue to get people vaccinated, and for those who have been vaccinated to continue to get boosted.”

Will We Go Back To A Mask Mandate? different colored masks

As of now, Dr. Fauci also does not think that mask mandates need to be reinstated. “If we do see a significant surge, particularly one that might result in increased hospitalizations, we have to be prepared to pivot and perhaps reinstitute some of those restrictions,” he said. “But right now, at this point, I don’t see that.”

Medicare Will Cover at-Home Covid Tests, Find Out How to Get Them for Free

Since Covid-19 hit the U.S., we have been looking for ways to stop the spread of the virus. One of these ways has been to try and test people as effectively as possible, although this has proven difficult to do. But now President Biden has finally rolled out his plan to get free at-home Covid tests to everyone who wants them, mandating most insurers cover a certain number of tests per month. And now Medicare will partake in it, offering older adults the ability to get at-home tests for free starting in Spring 2022.

At-Home Test Coverage

covid test kits on a table
Medicare will soon cover at-home Covid tests beginning in the spring!

The Biden Administration has mandated that private insurers must now cover the cost of up to 8 at-home tests per person a month, as of January 15. Depending on the insurance company, those looking to purchase tests will either get no-cost tests at the store, or will purchase the tests out-of-pocket and submit a claim for reimbursement. 

In February 2022, the Biden Administration announced that Medicare will cover the cost of up to 8 at-home COVID tests per month for Medicare beneficiaries with Part B, starting in early spring 2022. Medicare beneficiaries will be able to pick up the tests at no cost from eligible pharmacies and other entities.

In the Meantime…

There are other ways for Medicare beneficiaries to get them for free, including:

  • Ordering four free tests through, a new government website.
  • Going to Medicare-certified health clinics, as well as community health centers, where at-home tests can be picked up for free.
  • Getting free testing at local testing sites: “While at this time original Medicare cannot pay for at-home tests, testing remains a critical tool to help mitigate the spread of Covid,” a CMS spokesperson said, adding that there are more than 20,000 free testing sites where beneficiaries can get lab-based PCR tests, rapid PCR tests, and rapid antigen tests.hands with gloves on holding covid swab and tube
  • Getting tests authorized by a healthcare provider, in which case there will be no cost-sharing fee.

As of now, until this initiative begins, Medicare beneficiaries are required to pay for the cost of at-home rapid tests for Covid-19 and are not getting reimbursed by Medicare.

Covid-19 Hospitalizations Are Dropping!

It might have seemed throughout the past two years that the Covid-19 pandemic would never end, but now there is a glimmer of hope. Covid-19 hospitalizations are finally dropping, with some states starting to see infection numbers and hospitalization rates drop by as much as 25%- 58% over the last two weeks. Hopefully, this trend will continue, so we can get back to normal life as soon as possible.

red arrow pointing down
Covid-19 hospitalization rates are dropping throughout the U.S.

Where Cases Are Dropping

In the Northeast, hospitalization rates have dropped by around 25% after reaching a peak 2 weeks ago, while the Midwest region is seeing a 44% decrease, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. The U.S. as a whole is also seeing a drop in new Covid-related hospital admissions: as of March 14, As of March 9, 2022, the current 7-day moving average of daily new cases (37,147) decreased 28.8% compared with the previous 7-day moving average (52,156). A total of 79,248,406 Covid-19 cases have been reported in the United States as of March 9, 2022.

“All of the current data is showing very encouraging trends, with many of our key health metrics consistently and substantially declining,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday. “But we’re not out of the woods. Even though we have been able to attain considerable drops in the metrics, and they’re continuing to drop, they’re still much higher than they have been or where we need to be.”

On The Roadsilhouette of a woman raising her arms towards the sun

It looks like we are finally seeing some good news, as the nation as a whole is seeing a decrease in Covid cases, but there are some states that are still struggling. As of now, according to recent data, roughly 212 million Americans are fully vaccinated, which is around 65.8% of the population. Around 77.3% of people in the US have received their first shot, which means that we are on the brink of almost three-quarters of the country being fully vaccinated. As more people become vaccinated, it is more likely that Covid-19 hospitalizations will continue to decline, and we might see restrictions begin to be lifted everywhere.

Biden to Send Millions of Covid-19 Tests to Schools to Keep Doors Open

With things looking up on the Covid front, President Biden has indicated that he wants to make some changes to get the country back to some sense of normalcy. He has been particularly clear that he wants to make sure we can keep our school open. To that end, the Biden administration is planning to make an additional 10 million Covid-19 tests available each month to schools, as part of its push for classroom doors to stay open for in-person learning.

The Need For In-Person Learningcovid-19 tests

The Biden administration has said it will distribute 5 million free rapid tests to K-12 schools each month to be used for screening purposes, to ensure that children can continue to reap the benefits of physically attending school. Research shows that in-person learning is beneficial to children both academically and socially, and that the isolation of the pandemic has led to anxiety and other mental health issues, such as depression in many young people. For these reasons, the White House has made clear that they consider keeping schools open a top priority. 

The Biden Administration has also said that they are planning this investment into tests for schools because of the limited quantities of at-home test kits available for many Americans. Fortunately,  Covid numbers are down, so with this extra testing, schools should be able to remain open for the foreseeable future. 

CDC Eases Guidance on Indoor Masking

children in a classroom with a teacher
There is a new guidance by the CDC in which masks do not have to be worn indoors, including in schools.

New guidance put forward by the CDC on February 25th no longer recommends that Americans wear masks indoors in all situations, including in schools. The CDC still recommends that people wear masks on public transportation, and in airports, train stations, and bus stations. This lifting of restrictions is worrying some parents of school-age children, so the Biden Administration hopes to ease some of these fears with the greater availability of testing in schools. 

“This plan lays out the roadmap to help us fight Covid-19 in the future as we move America from crisis to a time when Covid-19 does not disrupt our daily lives and is something we prevent, protect against, and treat,” the White House said. “We are not going to just ‘live with Covid.’ Because of our work, we are no longer going to let Covid-19 dictate how we live.”

96% of schools opened for in-person learning in January of this year, according to the White House, up from 46% in January 2021. And the administration intends to keep schools open, not only for the sake of the children, but also for the sake of their family members, many of whom need to get back to work.