Consumer Alert: The Public Health Emergency is ending, and it will affect your wallet

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Something big happens at 11:59 Thursday night. The pandemic public health emergency comes to an end. So, every consumer needs to be prepared for some big changes. The biggest change for most consumers is you’ll no longer be able to get free at-home covid tests or PCR tests, the ones performed at a doctor’s office and sent to a lab.

COVID tests:

Folks with Medicare and private insurance have been able to get eight free tests every month… because your insurer was required to pay for it. That ends Thursday night. If you have Medicaid, you get free tests until September of 2024.

Prescriptions by Telemedicine:

During the pandemic, you could do a tele-medicine visit and get a prescription for ADD medication, anti-anxiety drugs, the pain medication oxycontin, and the opioid addiction drug, buprenorphine The Biden administration has extended that flexibility until November 11th. If you already have a telemedicine relationship with your doctor, he or she can continue to review and renew your medication remotely until November 11, 2024.

Childhood vaccines:

During the pandemic, you could get all your kiddo’s immunizations at your neighborhood pharmacy. That’s going away. Your child can still get her COVID vaccine at the pharmacy, but you’ll need to take your little one to her pediatrician for all those other childhood shots.