Governor Abbott, HHSC Extend Flexibilities For Medicaid, CHIP Providers During COVID-19 Response

July 30, 2020 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is extending flexibilities to Medicaid and CHIP recipients and providers through October 23rd, 2020, as the state continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These flexibilities will minimize face-to-face interactions and ensure continuity of care for clients during the COVID-19 response.

"The State of Texas is working to ensure continuity of care for CHIP and Medicaid recipients as we respond to COVID-19," said Governor Abbott. "The flexibilities the state is providing will protect access to important care and resources that many Texans rely on for their health and safety."

"To protect their health and safety, it’s critical we ensure Medicaid and CHIP clients continue to have access to the services they need in the most effective and safe manner during the COVID-19 public health emergency," said State Medicaid Director Stephanie Stephens.

Many services are being provided to clients using telemedicine and telehealth including medical, behavioral health, case management, professional and specialized therapy services, and certain components of Texas Health Steps medical check-ups.

Flexibilities extended through October 23rd, 2020, include:

Appeals and fair hearings: Extends timelines for clients to request an appeal fair hearing and allows clients to request an appeal verbally.

Face-to-face requirements: Suspends face-to-face service coordination, case management visits, and utilization review home visits for Medicaid clients. All managed care plans must use telehealth for service coordination and service planning to ensure clients are receiving needed services.

Provider enrollment requirements: Suspends requirements that out-of-state providers be licensed in the state where they are providing services when they are licensed in another state; and allows licensed providers to render services outside of their state of enrollment.

Assessments: Extends certain assessments and service plans.

Telemedicine and telehealth: Allows certain services to be delivered remotely.

More information on Medicaid and CHIP flexibilities can be found here. Texans in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid, at or use the Your Texas Benefits mobile app to manage their benefits.