US' new Covid vax rollout hit by insurance delays, cancelled appointments

September 25, 2023
Bills, insurance delays, cancelled appointments await Americans queuing for new Covid vaccine, according to media reports.

New York, Sep 25 (IANS) Bills, insurance delays, cancelled appointments await Americans queuing for new Covid vaccine, according to media reports. Early in September, the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended Americans to take the new Covid vaccine in the wake of rising Covid cases in the country. While the federal officials promised the new Covid shot would be free and covered by insurance, some Americans have been denied coverage and charged up to $200, the Washington Post reported.

In addition, many people also saw cancelled appointments, pharmacies being out of network, and supply snags with vaccines not showing up on lists of approved medical expenses, and needing prior authorisation, the report said.

The snags are part of the systemic shift, wherein the government stopped purchasing the shots and distributing them to pharmacies, doctor’s offices and other providers as during the pandemic. The fresh round of Covid vaccines is the first following the end of the public health emergency for Covid in May.

While vaccine manufacturers Moderna and Pfizer reported shipping millions of doses since the new versions were approved, their deliveries to some CVS and Walgreens locations have also been delayed, CNBC reported.

Meanwhile, the US administration has acknowledged early bumps in the rollout.

According to a US Health and Human Services Department (HHS) spokesperson, the agency is aware some vaccine seekers had “unexpected insurance coverage denials at the point of service”.

The federal agency has also reached out to insurers to make sure computer systems are up to date and remind them they must cover Covid-19 vaccines without cost sharing to insured consumers. For the uninsured, the CDC’s “bridge access” programme will pay for vaccines, the USA Today reported.

“The Biden Administration will continue working to ensure Covid-19 vaccines are widely available to the American public at no-cost to them from their local provider, community health centre or pharmacy,” according to a HHS statement.

–IANS

rvt/uk

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