Health Insurance

Headline:

The federal public health emergency was extended through October 13, 2022. Bivalent boosters are available in RI. Extended postpartum coverage begins on October 1, 2022 for people enrolled in RIteCare.

Last-reviewed: 9am, Sept. 23, 2022

Key Resources:

The Basics

  • The federal public health emergency expires October 13, 2022. More information here.
  • Breast pumps and related supplies are now exempted from sales tax.
  • Effective July 1, 2022, RI children have access to health insurance regardless of their immigration status.
  • Effective October 1, 2022, people enrolled in RIteCare who give birth will have their coverage extended for 12 months post-partum.
  • Effective January 1, 2023, a special enrollment period will be available to pregnant people.  
  • Vaccines are available to all people over the age of 6 months.
  • Bivalent boosters are now available to eligible Rhode Islanders.
  • Additional free COVID-19 tests are available. Ordering information here.

Note: Uninsured Rhode Islanders eligible for Medicaid can apply at any time.

The Breakdown

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

  • 988 is a new national suicide prevention hotline. It does not replace 911 for emergencies, but rather connects people who are experiencing a mental health crisis to a counselor. FAQ here.
    • A Spanish language line is available at 1-888-628-9454.
    • TTY users dial 711  then 988 or people can use their preferred relay service.

RIte Care Update

  • RI’s Medicaid program, RIte Care, was expanded to include all children no matter their immigration status so long as they meet other eligibility criteria.
  • Starting October 1, pregnant people who give birth while enrolled in RIte Care will have their coverage extended 12 months post-partum.
Health Insurance Enrollment
  • Uninsured Rhode Islanders can apply through a “special enrollment” if they meet certain income eligibility or meet a qualifying event that includes:
    • Job loss
    • An employer changing the employee’s coverage
    • A change to household size
    • A recent move to RI
    • A change to immigration status
    • Young adults who are no longer covered by their parent’s insurance due to aging out
    • A loss of a government provided coverage
    • In 2023, a person who becomes pregnant
  • Uninsured Rhode Islanders may be able to receive free or reduced fee care from these providers.
  • No one receiving Medicaid will be terminated while there is a federal public health emergency (PHE) declaration.
    •  HealthSourceRI FAQ for Medicaid recipients and the PHE here.
  • Annual open enrollment begins on November 1, 2022.
Testing and Vaccines
  • Vaccine eligibility has expanded to include anyone over the age of 6 months. More information here.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are free to the person receiving the vaccines. Uninsured or undocumented Rhode Islanders can receive the vaccine for free. More information in this FAQ.
  • Second boosters and bivalent boosters are available to those who meet certain eligibility.  CDC vaccination schedule here (last updated September 6, 2022)
  • COVID-19 testing is widely available. More information here.

The Bottom Line

  • Care teams can help people connect to health insurance through HealthSource RI and can carefully monitor when Medicaid eligibility certification requirements will resume.
  • Vaccines are available to anyone over 6 months irrespective of their insurance type (or lack thereof) or immigration status.

Spotlight on Consumer Rights:

  • Care teams can help people access health insurance by connecting them to two different services offered by RIPIN:
    • RIPIN’s Healthcare Advocate assists people covered by Medicare and Medicaid with insurance-related challenges such as billing disputes or coverage denials. Contact the Advocate here.
    • RIREACH also helps people access health insurance by removing barriers such as those related to insurance company denials, eligibility requirements, and billing. Contact RIREACH at 401-270-0101 or at callcenter@ripin.org.