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GoodRx: “Is the vaccine really free?”

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By Kristen Gerencher, MSOT | Kristen Gerencher, MSOT, is the personal finance editor on the Research Team at GoodRx. She has reported on healthcare and insurance trends for 20 years and is a licensed occupational therapist.

Key takeaways:

  • The COVID-19 vaccine will be free to everyone who wants one in 2020 and 2021, federal health officials have said.
  • No surprise billing or balance billing is allowed, so no need to worry about going to an in-network provider during the pandemic.
  • After the public health emergency is over, the COVID-19 vaccine may be covered like the flu vaccine.

The Trump Administration, through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DoD), will purchase an additional 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidate, called mRNA-1273, from Moderna. — If authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use as outlined in agency guidance, doses of the vaccine will begin shipping immediately. The vaccine would be provided at no cost to Americans. Vaccine administration costs for private-sector administration partners will be covered by healthcare payers: private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, and an HHS program to cover COVID-19 costs for the uninsured which is reimbursing the provider at Medicare rates from the provider relief fund. (Source: HHS; Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news. Like HHS on Facebook  exit disclaimer icon, follow HHS on Twitter @HHSgov exit disclaimer icon, and sign up for HHS Email Updates.
Last revised: December 11, 2020

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COVID-19 has caused all kinds of harm, but there will be one more thing to celebrate when a vaccine finally becomes widely available: It will be free. Read on for more information about how the vaccine will be paid for, whether you can be billed for it, and when you may be able to get it.

The vaccine is expected to be free of charge to every American who wants one — no matter which company made it, what type of health insurance you have, or even if you don’t have coverage at all.

You shouldn’t have to pay a vaccine administration fee or any other extra charge. The federal government has arranged to buy the vaccine and send it to healthcare providers and clinics, and those receiving it must agree to inoculate people without charging them, federal health officials said in a December 4 virtual town hall that GoodRx attended.

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SOURCE: https://www.goodrx.com/blog/how-much-will-the-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine-cost/

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