Funding cuts place limits on low-cost vaccines

Parents Urged to Plan Early for Back-to-School Immunizations

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 4:16pm

TYLER — A limit in the availability of low-cost vaccines this year is due to funding and policy changes by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Parents are reminded that despite the back-to-school rush, clients will be screened for health insurance immunization coverage before receiving immunization services and if they have insurance, they will be referred to their primary health care provider.

In order for clients, birth through 18 years of age, to be eligible to receive Texas Vaccines For Children (TVFC) immunizations at the Department of Public Health Clinics, they must be:

- Medicaid eligible
- Uninsured: a child who has no health insurance coverage
- American Indian or Alaskan Native
- Enrolled in CHIP
- Underinsured

According to the department, to be considered "underinsured," one of the following criteria must be met:
a child who has commercial (private) health insurance, but coverage does not include vaccines; a child whose insurance covers only selected vaccines (TVFC-eligible for non-covered vaccines only); or a child whose insurance caps vaccine coverage at a certain amount. Once that coverage amount is reached, the child is categorized as underinsured).

Insured children with vaccine coverage who have high co-pays or deductibles are no longer considered underinsured. These children are now considered fully, privately insured and are no longer eligible for TVFC vaccines.

“Parents should immediately check with their insurance company to see if immunizations are covered. If they are, they need to schedule an appointment with their child’s doctor to make sure the provider has the vaccines available, or can get them in time for the child to begin classes,” said Michael Hill, Public Health Director.

The Department said they also have a limited supply of vaccines that will be offered outside the TVFC program. However, clients who do not qualify for the TVFC program will have to pay for the actual cost of the vaccine, plus a $10.00 administrative fee per vaccine. Payment will be accepted via cash, local check, credit card, or debit card.

For more information about the Department of Public Health’s Immunization Program, please visit: http://www.healthyeasttx.org/index.php?page=immunize

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