Wednesday, Governor Eric J. Holcomb signed Executive Orders 21-31 and 21-32 to continue the public health emergency and the executive order for provisions that address the impact of COVID-19. Extending the executive orders allows key items to remain in place that protect Hoosiers.
Gov. Holcomb has outlined three provisions that necessitate the extension of a public health emergency and executive order. First, Indiana is eligible to receive enhanced federal funding for Medicaid programs to help cover the increased costs of 500,000 Hoosiers who have enrolled in the programs because of the pandemic. So far, the state has received $972 million in enhanced funding. The state would lose more than $175 million in future funding through March 2022 and about 250,000 Hoosiers would lose partial or full Medicaid coverage if the state public health emergency ends before the federal public health emergency.
The executive orders allow 200,000 eligible households to receive an additional $95 per month in federal food assistance. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) emergency allotment provides nutrition for more than 600,000 Hoosiers.
In addition, the state’s public health emergency allows the state health commissioner to serve as the statewide ordering physician for those who choose to be vaccinated, including children five and older. This offers easy access to vaccines through pharmacies, local health departments and other health facilities.
All directives in executive orders which have continued throughout the public health emergency will expire on Dec. 31. A continuation of the public health emergency and the executive order beyond Dec. 31, 2021, maybe deemed necessary to preserve the specified provisions.