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Health Insurance Providers Reiterate Their Commitment to COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters with No Cost Sharing

Press Release

Health insurance providers are united in their commitment to ensuring that Americans have the access to vaccines they need and deserve.

Published Sep 27, 2023 • by AHIP

Washington, D.C. – (September 27, 2023) – Everyone deserves access to safe, effective vaccines that save lives and protect against serious illnesses. Health insurance providers are united in their commitment to ensuring that Americans have the access to vaccines they need and deserve, including COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

Following reports of some patients having difficulties accessing new COVID-19 boosters without cost sharing, Alliance of Community Health Plans, Association for Community Affiliated Plans, AHIP, and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association came together in a letter to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services, to reiterate their commitment to providing access, swiftly addressing any challenges, and continuing to partner with HHS and others across the health care system.

Here are the highlights of that letter:

“Throughout this transition to traditional public and private reimbursement, our members prepared and have been working tirelessly to overcome systems challenges and increase access. We value the collaboration with your teams as we work together to continue to expand access to the updated COVID vaccines through more routine channels. You have our commitment that health insurers are fully covering the new COVID-19 shots, as required, with no cost sharing when consumers access them from a network provider or receive them through an out-of-network provider when in-network options are unavailable.”

“In collaboration with the Administration, our industry has been preparing for the new COVID-19 vaccine distribution system for months to facilitate patient access to this critical preventive service. These preparations allowed us to quickly resolve technical and coding issues as they arose. We appreciate your teams’ assistance in rapidly identifying problems.”

“We continue to closely monitor our member reports of any technical or coding barriers to vaccine coverage. At this time, we understand that systemic technical issues have been largely, if not completely, resolved and are not limiting patient access to vaccines. Should further issues arise, we stand ready to swiftly implement system improvements.”

“…the transition of COVID vaccines to the commercial market has changed how and where people can access these vaccines. In preparation to educate consumers, the health insurance industry has updated public-facing resources and educated customer service agents to help guide members on their options, and we will continue to calibrate our communications and tools to meet consumer needs.”

“As vaccines become more available across the country, we will continue to proactively educate consumers on where they can find available vaccines in-network without cost sharing. We all share your goal that every American who seeks the updated COVID vaccine may receive it quickly, conveniently, and without cost-sharing, so that they may protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.”

Read the full letter.

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