2021 is here and with a new year, there’s word of COVID-19 vaccines making their way throughout the United States. While rollout is slower than expected, about 5 million people in the United States have received one of two approved doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. With more Americans looking to get the vaccine in an effort to fight against the virus that plummeted our country into a financial and economical hole, the question remains: who is going to pay for all of these vaccines?
Who Is Paying For The COVID-19 Vaccine?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both being covered by the United States federal government. This is part of the Operation Warp Speed program, which is the effort to produce and distribute the vaccines for COVID-19 throughout the U.S.
While the federal government is paying for hundreds of millions by using the taxpayer dollars, hospitals may still send out a bill for an administrative fee. This is common with other vaccines, such as the flu shot. In response to this, federal officials are asking private health insurance to cover the costs of the COVID-19 vaccines. This is according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
New regulations will require that private insurance companies cover the cost of the COVId-19 vaccine. Director Seema Verma also stated that CMS will reimburse these vaccine fees for Medicare and Medicaid users throughout 2021.
What About Those Who Don’t Have Insurance?
10.9% of Americans are uninsured. Those who do not have insurance can expect hospitals and other providers to be reimbursed for vaccine costs by the Federal CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. Hospitals can expect this fund to be distributed to both them and health care providers in order to assist them during these times of financial hardship.
Those who are covered under the Affordable Care Act should not be expected to pay for the vaccine since it qualifies as preventative care.
What Does This Mean For Hospitals?
While it seems that the federal government will bear most of the responsibility for paying for the COVID-19 vaccine, hospitals may have to bill patients for vaccine shots. With this in mind, some people may not be able to pay for the vaccine. Additionally, with insurance companies also looking to bear the weight of financial responsibility, there is no guarantee that hospitals will see that money return to them. Hospitals often have to search for money owed to them by insurance companies and with such a nationwide vaccine coming, this may mean more money owed for hospitals.
How Hospitals Can Protect Themselves
With hospitals needing to prepare themselves to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, they must also protect themselves against financial loss from insurance companies. This is where ERISA Recovery comes into place. Having money is what keeps a hospital going so it can continue providing quality service. And so it can continue to distribute vaccinations to help combat this virus. ERISA Recovery helps hospitals recover money that they are owed from insurance companies before hospitals write these losses off. With a free analysis, you can find out if ERISA Recovery is the right solution for you.