What the End of the Pandemic Means for the CARES Act
The end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency brings an end to the CARES Act. Learn which CARES Act programs have already expired or will expire in 2023.
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After more than two years, the COVID-19 pandemic officially ended on May 11, 2023 with the Public Health Emergency expiring.
This also means the end of many parts of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act for short. The Act was signed on March 27, 2020 to provide trillions of dollars toward various temporary relief programs during the pandemic. Here's an overview of some of the economic and health programs that have or will expire soon.
Direct Stimulus Payments
One of the most well-known aspects of the CARES Act was the distribution of stimulus payments to eligible individuals and families. These direct payments provided financial relief to millions of lower and middle-income Americans. No additional stimulus payments are planned.
Many homeowners were able to postpone mortgage payments under special forbearance programs.
While the deadline to request COVID-19 forbearance for FHA, HUD, and USDA mortgage loans was May 31, 2023, you still may have options.
If you're behind on payments, you may be able to bring your mortgage current by taking advantage of the COVID-19 Recovery Loss Mitigation Options. This option is available to FHA borrowers who are on a COVID-19 Forbearance, or FHA borrowers who did not participate in a COVID-19 Forbearance but are 90 days or more delinquent through October 30, 2024.
The eviction moratorium preventing landlords from evicting tenants expired in July 2020. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) was authorized to pass its own eviction moratorium which ended on August 26, 2021.
Unemployment assistance that provided additional unemployment income expired on September 3, 2021. This program supplemented weekly unemployment income benefits by $600 and provided additional weeks of benefits to workers who exhausted their regular state-provided unemployment income benefits.
Student Loan Payments
Student loan payments have been paused since March 2020. The pause on student loan payments is in place until 60 days after June 30, 2023 while the U.S. Department of Education works to either implement its debt relief program or resolve the case brought by the Supreme Court.
Health Care Plans
Since the public health emergency has officially ended, some health care plan requirements will change. These plans will no longer be required to cover some COVID-19 related services—like diagnostic testing, including over-the-counter tests—at no cost to the participant. Insurance providers can still choose to cover COVID-19 services, though you'll have to check with your plan provider to determine which services are covered.
Additionally, some of the flexibility that was provided to extend the timeframes for participants for certain health plan-related deadlines, such as special enrollment, COBRA election and payment, and claims and appeals deadlines, may soon lapse.
In states that expanded Medicaid and CHIP coverage, individuals and families may have lost coverage after March 31, 2023 and need to re-enroll or find other medical coverage.
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