Public Health Emergency

Public Health Emergency

Last updated February 3, 2023.

The state of Texas has automatically extended CHIP and STAR Medicaid benefits since the federal government issued a public health emergency (PHE) due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The PHE may end this year. When the PHE ends, you will need to renew or recertify for your benefits. If you do not, you could lose your benefits. Here’s what you can do now.
  1. Sign up for an account at or on the Your Texas Benefits mobile app.
  2. Report any changes to contact information to ensure any notices are received.
  3. Return renewal packets or requests for information as soon as possible.
You can renew your benefits now even if it is not time. Do you want help? Visit our Application Assistance page and submit a Contact Us form. We will get back to you right away.

Please review these frequently asked questions that HHSC has answered. Check this page regularly for more questions and answers!

Community Health Choice is monitoring the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the most updated information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Texas Department of State Health Services, and the Harris County Public Health Department, to help keep you and your family healthy.

Last updated: July 24, 2020.  Check this page regularly for updates.

Texas is seeing a rise in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 and more Texans hospitalized for COVID-19. This is related to residents moving around their communities as businesses reopen, increased availability of testing for COVID-19 and in some cases, attendance at gatherings or relaxing behaviors that prevent the spread of disease. There is still no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and available treatments are not always effective. It is important to protect yourself and your family by following these recommendations

  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • Wear a face covering and practice social distancing when in public places.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing.
  • Disinfect objects and surfaces to stay clean.
On July 2, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions. The CDC encourages people to wear a face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It should fit over your mouth and nose. Please read how to wear, remove, care for your face covering, requirements and exceptions at  If you think you are sick with Coronavirus (COVID-19), call your doctor. More ways to get healthy and stay healthy:
  • Eat healthy food, and cut down on processed foods.
  • Reduce or eliminate tobacco and alcohol.
  • Check in with your doctor and our Care Management department if you are managing a chronic condition.
  • Check in with your doctor and our Behavioral Health department if you are experiencing stress and anxiety, depression and other behavioral health conditions.

Are you due for an annual wellness screening? Check the chart! Keep children healthy: Teach and reinforce everyday preventive actions.
  • Parents and caretakers play an important role in teaching children to wash their hands. Explain that hand washing can keep them healthy and stop the virus from spreading to others.
  • Be a good role model—if you wash your hands often, they’re more likely to do the same.
  • Make handwashing a family activity.
  • Learn more about what you can do to protect children.
Wellness Exams – STAR and CHIP Members: Texas Health Steps checkups and Well-child exams, also known as wellness checkups, are the best way to help your child stay healthy as they grow. Medicaid members get Texas Health Steps checkups from birth through 20 years of age. CHIP Members get well-child exams from birth through 18 years of age. Read more in our Wellness Corner. If you need help, call Wellness Services toll-free at 1.888.760.2600. Wellness Exams – Marketplace Members: Wellness exams are covered benefit. Review your benefits and make an appointment with your doctor. If you need help, call Marketplace Member Services toll-free at 1.855.315.5386. Vaccines: Get vaccinated. Keeping immunization rates high in our community is essential for individual health and the health of our community. It is our responsibility to keep each other safe. Just like wearing a mask, social distancing and handwashing helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, staying up to date with childhood immunizations keeps each individual child protected from vaccine preventable diseases that cause serious illnesses (pneumonia, meningitis, cancer, etc.) and protects vulnerable people in our community that have conditions that prevent them from receiving vaccines. Vaccines are available for these 17 dangerous or deadly diseases. Over the years, these vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives. Infants, children, adolescents, teens and adults need different vaccinations, depending on their age, location, job, lifestyle, travel schedule, health conditions or previous vaccinations. In-Person Doctor Visits Our Providers are making their offices safe for in-person visits. Take control of your health by scheduling a preventive health screening or wellness checkup today. They are a covered benefit.

Use telemedicine services whenever possible.  A Provider can screen and diagnose you over the phone. It’s a great way to get the care you need from home. If you are a CHIP, CHIP-P or STAR Member, ask your Provider if they offer telemedicine. If your doctor is not available and you need help with locating telemedicine services, please call us for assistance. Telemedicine services are now available to all Marketplace plans and D-SNP, you may call them at 1.800.835.2362.

Before your first virtual visit, you need to set up a Teladoc account and share your medical history on the app or on their account set up page. Completing this step in advance can minimize your wait time.

If you’re new to using Teladoc, start by visiting their website for answers to frequently asked questions.

For faster support, you can contact Teledoc by mobile, App or web. You can download the App on the App Store or Google Play.

If you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) or have questions about symptoms, please call your doctor. If you are tested at your doctor’s office, health care facility or testing center, you will not be charged. You may also call our Nurse Help Line. A nurse will answer your questions, and help you get the care you need. Help is available in English or Spanish. You may also ask for an interpreter.

  • STAR (Medicaid)/CHIP/CHIP Perinatal Members: 1.888.332.2730
  • Marketplace Members: 1.833.955.1528
  • D-SNP Members: 1.833.955.1527

Public testing sites and drive-thru testing locations are available throughout Texas. See the Texas Department of State Health Services website to locate testing centers near you.

Members who are well and do not have a known risk for infection or symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing should not go directly to ERs or urgent care centers solely to be tested for COVID-19. Doing so may overwhelm hospitals and urgent care centers and prevent them from providing care to people who need help.

Urgent Care Centers Offering Telemedicine

These locations offer telemedicine. Look up the listing in our Find a Doctor Provider directory for contact information.

1. AFC Urgent Care (multiple locations)

2. AP Urgent Care

3. Apex Urgent Care

4. CyMED Tomball PA

5. Emergency Medical Doctors Services

6. Family First Urgent Care

7. First Response Urgent Care Port Arthur

8. Medella Urgent Care (two locations)

9. MHMG Urgent Care (multiple locations)

10. Next Level Urgent Care (multiple locations)

11. Southwest Urgent Care and Family Practice (two locations)

12. Sunrise Urgent Care & Family Practice

13. Texas Children’s Urgent Care (multiple locations)

Babies,Children, and Teens:
1. Nightlight Pediatrics (multiple locations)

2. Sunset Pediatric Urgent Care PA

3. Urgent Care for Kids (two locations)

4. UTMB After-Hours Pedriatic Urgent Care

Aunt Bertha: Find Help

Find food assistance, help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost programs that help people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit the following pages for resources and guidance on how to stay healthy:

Frequently Asked Questions

High-Risk Members

Why Choose Community?

As a local nonprofit health plan, Community Health Choice gives you plenty of reasons to join our Community. From the benefits and special programs we offer to the way our Member Services team helps you make the most of them, Community is always working life forward for you and your family.

“I always tell people to choose Community Health Choice. I tell them it’s the best health insurance they will ever be with.”
– Chandolyn
Member of Community Health Choice