Friday, October 9, 2009

Major health insurers doing the right thing on H1N1 flu shots

Our office has been calling on health insurers in Washington to eliminate as many barriers as possible for people looking for H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine and treatment. (We can't rewrite your policy and force the insurers to cover these things if they normally wouldn't, but we can encourage them to cover things, as in this recent letter.)

The good news: Some of the state's major insurers have said that they'll cover the costs associated with the vaccine. Premera says it will waive co-pays and deductibles for the shot, as does Regence. The latter wrote to members:
To remove financial barriers associated with administration of the H1N1 vaccine and to encourage members to seek vaccination, Regence will provide coverage for the costs associated with the administration of the H1N1 vaccine, waiving co-pays and deductibles for all members covered by its insured plans. Regence will strongly encourage self-insured employers to cover the full cost to ensure that the greatest number of people are protected.