COVID-19 Update: Vaccines Covered 100%
As you’ve likely heard, the first vaccine to protect against COVID-19 infection is now available through Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and a second vaccine is expected to receive EUA in the coming days. These COVID-19 vaccines will be 100% covered for our fully insured members, including those covered through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Individual and Small Group policies, as well as members covered by the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) and the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP). Coverage will also extend to all self-insured customers that are not grandfathered.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, health care professionals and residents of long-term care facilities will have the first opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, as vaccine supplies increase, we encourage our members to protect themselves, their families and their communities by getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
Below are some answers to questions your clients and their employees may have about COVID-19 vaccines and coverage. If you have additional questions, please contact your Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) sales executive or account manager.
Q1. Are COVID-19 vaccines covered?
A1. Yes, vaccines recommended by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the U.S. Preventive Health Services Task Force (USPSTF) are 100% covered. That means members will not pay any money out of pocket to get a COVID-19 vaccine. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the COVID-19 vaccines will be covered 100% through in- and out-of-network doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other health care professionals, as well as through vaccine administration sites.
Q2. Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
A2. All vaccines distributed in the United States must follow strict Federal Drug and Administration (FDA) guidelines for safety. Learn more about how the FDA and the CDC are ensuring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
Q3. Which COVID-19 vaccine should members get?
A3. As always, we encourage members to talk with their doctors about what is right for them.
Regardless of which COVID-19 vaccine a member chooses to get, it’s important to note that the two vaccines that are/will be available through EUA require two doses of the vaccine administered several weeks apart.
The CDC and every state have established specific plans to distribute vaccines, which will initially be in limited supply, and to identify the priority populations for vaccination. Please follow the guidance issued by public health authorities on when and how to be vaccinated.
Visit the CDC website for up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccines.
Q4. What else can people do to protect themselves, their families and their communities?
A4. At this time, the best way to avoid COVID-19 is to follow the CDC guidelines, including:
- Wear a mask in all public places.
- Follow social distancing guidelines and avoid close contact with those who are sick.
- Get the flu shot. While the flu vaccine can’t prevent COVID-19, many of the symptoms are the same, and preventing the flu can help ease the burden on doctors and hospitals.
- Follow government travel recommendations
Horizon BCBSNJ will continue to monitor updates related to COVID‑19 from state and federal health officials, and ensure that your customers and their employees have access to the care they need. Now and always.