As of August 1, 2020, the federal fiscal response to the COVID-19 pandemic includes two major legislative packages: the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).
FFCRA funded free COVID-19 testing, enhanced unemployment insurance and suspended some burdensome requirements for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), but the centerpiece of the legislation was the $36 billion in additional Medicaid funding to enhance each state’s matching Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) rate by 6.2 percentage points. Through this enhancement, the state received about $700 million from March through July, with approximately $154 million used to cover Medicaid costs in the state’s FY 2021 budget.
The $2.2 trillion CARES Act provided the largest share of federal assistance to the state. The legislation provided funding to help state and local governments cover the direct costs of the COVID-19 response through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, along with funding for education, child care, transportation and more. For the most part, these funds provided a temporary stopgap to help cover a few months of costs directly related to the pandemic.