May 16, 2023

COVID-19 public health emergency has ended: What’s changed?

Vaccinations, testing, and treatment are still widely accessible. Member coverage and cost sharing may change.

Even though the public health emergency is over, the coronavirus remains a threat. Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent serious illness.

The federal government has ended the COVID-19 public health emergency.

This means certain policies established during the pandemic have changed. What won’t change is Kaiser Permanente’s dedication to providing high-quality care for COVID-19.

Here’s what you should know about what’s changing.

What’s changing, what’s not

Care and coverage

During the federal public health emergency, COVID-19 tests, vaccinations, and some treatments (such as Paxlovid) were available at no cost to most people. Now that the public health emergency has ended: 

  • Most members are able to continue to get COVID-19 vaccinations at no additional cost from Kaiser Permanente. That’s because most of our plans cover preventive services without cost sharing.
  • Coverage and cost sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment has changed for some of our members. The changes depend on their plan and in what state they live. Visit for details.
  • For Medicaid members, there are no immediate changes to COVID-19 care or coverage.

Face masks

Kaiser Permanente is no longer requiring people entering our health facilities to wear a mask that covers their nose, mouth, and chin unless it is mandated by city or county laws. If masks are required in a particular facility or area, details will be posted on indoor and outdoor signs and communicated by staff. It may be necessary to bring back mask-wearing in the future at Kaiser Permanente facilities based on new local laws or guidance from our infection prevention experts.

Protect yourself and your loved ones

The coronavirus remains a threat in our communities. COVID-19 is currently causing thousands of infections and hundreds of deaths each day across the country. Even now that the public health emergency has ended, if you’re sick, stay home and separate from others. Get the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on when and how to isolate.

Vaccination is the best way to prevent serious illness and hospitalization, not just for COVID-19 but also for the flu and other diseases. Now may be the time for you or someone in your family to get their updated COVID-19 vaccination.

For the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine and how to find an appointment in your area, visit