GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – After nearly 3 years, the COVID-19 state of emergency will soon be ending.
President Biden announced Monday he intends to stop it in May, which will impact benefits for millions of Americans, including folks here in the East.
“I think it should continue for the people who need those benefits that way it will be helpful for people that’s on a low budget income,” Greenville resident, Michael Rush III says.
Another resident, Ruby Barnes says, “I don’t think it should be taken away because there are a lot of people health-wise that don’t have the money to pay. With them taking that away, that leaves people at a disadvantage.”
Your bill will look different depending on whether you have Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance.
StarMed Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Arin Piramzadian says, “It’s taking away the funding that we we’re using to actually provide care. Hospitals are going to have a significant decrease in testing and treatments for free, there’s going to be costs associated with getting vaccinations for people. Up to 15 million people are going to lose their Medicaid benefits also. So, a huge loss for healthcare in general.”
Though the emergency is coming to an end, Piramzadian says, unfortunately, the virus isn’t going anywhere. “We’ve seen it come in waves. So, we expect to see another wave in the coming months, and if we don’t have that funding that we need, it’s going to be hard this time around.”
Food and nutrition services for COVID emergency allotments will also end on March 1st in Pitt County. According to the Pitt County Department of Social Services, the department will continue to connect people with food insecurity to resources.
Though benefits are coming to an end, StarMed Health is partnering with the NCDHHS to provide COVID anti-viral pills for free throughout North Carolina.