Post-Pandemic Changes: What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Tests, Treatments, and Vaccines

The COVID-19 pandemic that has been ravaging the United States since early 2020 is coming to a close.[0] President Joe Biden has announced that the national emergency and public health emergency declarations related to the virus will end on May 11, 2023.[1] This means that many of the health and safety measures that have become commonplace over the past few years, such as free vaccines, booster shots, tests, and treatments, will also be coming to an end.[2]

Medicare and private insurance plans have been providing free tests and vaccines to those who are insured since the pandemic began.[3] However, once the emergency declarations expire, those with private plans could face restrictions on testing, such as covering only tests ordered by an in-network provider.[4]

Those without insurance will likely have to pay for their vaccines, as well as tests.[5] Pfizer and Moderna have both announced that their two-dose vaccines will likely cost between $110 and $130 per dose when they hit the commercial market.[6] The uninsured may be able to find a free vaccine through a community health center, but they could still have to pay an administrative fee.[7]

Telehealth services have also exploded during the pandemic, and while some of the policies put in place to make it easier to provide and access are set to expire when the public health emergency ends, others have been extended through 2024.[8] Medicare patients will still be able to access telehealth services at least through the end of next year.[1]

Medicaid coverage for COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines will continue, and those on Medicaid will be able to get the shots for free.[8] However, they could soon have to pay for treatment.[9]

When the emergency declarations come to an end, the public will no longer be able to count on free access to tests and treatments. It is important to be aware of the changes and any potential costs associated with COVID-19 tests and vaccines that may arise.[7]

0. “Plan Sponsors and Administrators: Prepare for the End of the COVID-19 Emergency” Morgan Lewis, 3 Feb. 2023,

1. “Biden's plan for ending the emergency declaration for COVID-19 signals a pivotal point in the pandemic – 4 questions answered” The Conversation, 3 Feb. 2023,

2. “What End of COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in U.S. Means” TIME, 31 Jan. 2023,

3. “These benefits will disappear when Biden ends the COVID national and public health emergencies in May” WCVB Boston, 31 Jan. 2023,

4. “Editorial: The fight against COVID is not finished” Boulder Daily Camera, 6 Feb. 2023,

5. “U.S. COVID Public Health Emergency Ends in May 2023 Meta description: T” AARP, 1 Feb. 2023,

6. “What the end of COVID public health emergency means for you” The Boston Globe, 2 Feb. 2023,

7. “What The End Of COVID’s Public Health Emergency Status Really Means” BuzzFeed News, 1 Feb. 2023,

8. “Millions of New Yorkers will feel health care change as COVID emergency ends. Here's how.” Gothamist, 6 Feb. 2023,

9. “Here's Why COVID Testing and Treatment Might Start Costing You Money This Spring” The Motley Fool, 6 Feb. 2023,