Feds, Insurers Will Pick Up Tab for First Round of Vaccines

With Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine on the cusp of FDA authorization, Moderna Inc.’s offering not far behind and AstraZeneca plc also touting promising results from its vaccine, in the coming months there will undoubtedly be a variety of vaccines being administered to Americans. While in normal circumstances private insurers might steer members toward one manufacturer’s vaccine over another, or even refuse to cover certain inoculations, policy experts say that the usual rules do not apply when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Few things in health policy are simple, but in the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, there is a very simple take-home message, which is that no one going to get the vaccine will be charged for the vaccine or its administration, no matter what type of insurance they have, or whether they have insurance at all,” Karyn Schwartz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), said during a Dec. 3 web briefing about vaccination logistics.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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