Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, announced a new program to cover the costs of administering COVID-19 vaccines to patients enrolled in health plans that either do not cover vaccination fees or cover them with patient cost-sharing. Since providers cannot bill patients for COVID-19 vaccination fees, this new program, the COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund (CAF), addresses an outstanding compensation need for providers on the front lines vaccinating underinsured patients.
“After securing enough COVID-19 vaccines for all adults, the Biden-Harris Administration is elevating work to boost access to them,” said HHS Secretary Becerra. “We listened to our healthcare providers on the frontlines of the pandemic. On top of increasing reimbursement rates tied to administering the shots, we are closing the final payment gap that resulted as vaccines were administered to underinsured individuals. No healthcare provider should hesitate to deliver these critical vaccines to patients over reimbursement cost concerns.”
CAF is focusing on instances where individuals have insurance, but vaccines are either not covered or are but typically with patient cost-sharing. To address these gaps, the CAF will be compensating providers for eligible claims, at national Medicare rates which increased in March to reflect newer information on the true costs associated with administering the vaccines. CAF also builds on the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program, which has been reimbursing providers for vaccine administration fees associated with uninsured individuals.
Learn more at https://www.hrsa.gov/covid19-coverage-assistance