Blue Cross Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccines
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network have been committed to helping our members and customers navigate through these difficult and unprecedented times.
As news of federally authorized vaccines brings hope, you may be asking: When will a vaccine be available to me? Who will receive it first? How will I pay for it?
While details are still subject to change as more information becomes available, Blue Cross remains committed to preparing for the vaccines while helping you understand vaccine availability, your coverage and more.
When Will Vaccines Be Available?
The FDA’s authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use on December 11 set distribution of the vaccine in motion, with the first doses being sent to nearly 150 health departments and hospitals across the country. Healthcare workers nationwide began receiving the vaccine December 14. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says the vaccine will be distributed in phases throughout the state. Vaccine distribution policies are being developed on a state-by-state basis, with guidance from the CDC. Refer to your state’s department of health and human services website or the CDC for information related to distribution outside of Michigan.
The government anticipates the vaccine will be available to the general public by summer 2021.
While the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for emergency use already, the FDA will meet to discuss emergency use authorization of the Moderna vaccine this week. Both vaccines require two doses. Plans are underway to determine how best to ensure that all areas of Michigan have access to the vaccine.
How Will Your Insurance Coverage Work?
There are two primary costs – the cost of the vaccine, and the cost of administering it to patients like you. The federal government will be paying for the cost of the vaccine. Most employer health plans and Blue Cross are required to pick up the cost of administering the shots, thereby relieving members of any out-of-pocket cost.
So, if you have health insurance coverage through Blue Cross or Blue Care Network, you most likely will not have to pay for FDA-authorized COVID vaccinations. For Medicare beneficiaries, the government is paying for the vaccine and administration of the vaccine.
Staying Up to Date with the Latest Information
Information related to vaccines will continue to develop and change. For daily updates on COVID-19 that relate to news and information across the state and related Blue Cross information, read more at COVID-19: What You Need to Know. We will continue to provide information and resources related to COVID-19 developments, precautions, vaccines and more as it is available at MIBluesPerspectives.com.
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Photo credit: SeventyFour