The federal government declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) in January 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The PHE was extended multiple times. Under the authority of the federal PHE, the state of Alaska was permitted certain flexibilities to ensure the continued provision of state plan and waiver services.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, has notified states that the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) will not be extended beyond May 11, 2023. This means that the flexibilities permitted during the PHE will end, but the end date will vary depending on the type of flexibility approved by CMS.

Fair Hearings
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the deadline for submitting a request for a fair hearing was extended. Effective May 11, 2023, the deadline for requesting a fair hearing returns to 30 days of the notice of adverse action. Because this flexibility was utilized only minimally, the impact is anticipated to be negligible.

On this page:

Information for Recipients of Senior and Disabilities Services

Information for Recipients of Senior and Disabilities Services Programs

Key Flexibilities Impacted

  • Chore services
  • Telehealth
  • Infant Learning Program
  • Community First Choice Services
  • Provider Documentation and Training Requirements
Important Update Regarding Legally Responsible Individuals (LRI)
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) announced this week that states can opt to apply for a new 1115 Covid-19 demonstration waiver that includes extending the flexibility to allow legally responsible individuals (LRIs) to serve as paid providers of Medicaid state plan personal care services for six months beyond the end of the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE).  

The Alaska Department of Health has applied to CMS for permission to continue this flexibility for services provided May 12, 2023, through November 11, 2023.

When approved, it will align with the current flexibility for LRIs to be paid to provide certain Medicaid waiver services (day habilitation, residential habilitation in home supports and supported living, and respite) consistent with the previously-approved Appendix K waiver amendments.   

Providers may continue using the flexibility pending CMS approval. The state will hold providers harmless in the highly unlikely situation that CMS does not approve the state’s 1115 Covid-19 demonstration waiver.   

Flexibilities Ending May 11, 2023

  • Flexibility to receive additional Chore services due to COVID.
    • SDS will not authorize additional Chore hours due to COVID after May 11, 2023. If more hours are needed, an amendment requesting the increase should be filed. See FAQ.
  • For personal care services, Community First Choice personal care and chore services, and long term services and supports targeted case management services:
    • Allowing these services to be provided in alternative settings.
    • Allowing these services to be provided via telehealth (using distance delivery technology), except as permitted in 7 AAC 110.635.
    • Allowing these services to be provided without the direct support professional (DSP) employee to have proof of First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (FA/CPR) on file.

Information for Recipients of Behavioral Health Services

Information for Recipients of Behavioral Health Programs

COVID-19 Telehealth Flexibilities Continue

Following consultation with the Alaska Department of Law, the Department of Health is pleased to announce that, consistent with HB 265 which was enacted in 2022, telehealth flexibilities will continue beyond May 11, 2023. Recently proposed telehealth regulations, if filed, will make many of these flexibilities permanent. To subscribe to receive updates on this and other Department of Health proposed regulations, go to Alaska Online Public Notices, scroll to the bottom, and under “Subscriptions” select “all notices” (RSS or email) or “search now.” Step-by-step instructions on how to subscribe are also available.

Information for Recipients of Public Health Services 

Information for Recipients of Public Health Programs