Does Health Insurance Cover Immunizations?
Health insurance covers a wide range of immunizations. The Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in 2010, ensures that preventative care vaccinations are covered at no cost to the insured and no shared cost to the insurance group.
To be eligible, your policy must have begun or been renewed with the new stipulations that went into effect on or after September 23, 2010, according to HealthCare.gov. One more stipulation is that the vaccinations are delivered by a healthcare professional within your insurance plan’s network.
If you or your children need immunizations that go beyond those covered by the Affordable Care Act, the coverage would depend on your specific policies. Vaccinations other than the standard lineup offered in the U.S. may be necessary if you are traveling to other countries that have an increased risk of diseases we don’t see in America.
If you or your children don’t have health insurance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says some kids may still be eligible for free vaccinations through the government’s Vaccines for Children program. The program offers immunizations to children who meet the eligibility guidelines and receive the vaccinations from select clinics or centers.
What immunizations are covered for children?
Children get the biggest boost when it comes to covered vaccinations as well as other preventative care services. They enjoy a total of 27 services covered overall, one of them being immunization vaccines for some of the most common childhood risks.
These include diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, types A and B hepatitis, and human papillomavirus. Also covered are vaccinations for polio, the flu, meningitis, pneumonia, measles, mumps, and rubella. The list of included vaccines is rounded off with rotavirus and varicella.
Children’s vaccinations are covered from birth until the child reaches 18 years of age. The schedule for vaccinations varies depending on the child’s age, dose, and population group.
What immunizations are covered for adults?
Adults also have a list of vaccinations they can receive at no cost under the Affordable Care Act. These include hepatitis types A and B, human papillomavirus, herpes zoster, pneumococcal, and meningococcal. They are also covered for measles, mumps, rubella, the flu, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and varicella. The schedule for adults also varies, depending on age, dosage, and population group.
What other services are covered for children?
Children can receive a host of additional benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Younger kids get free autism screenings, developmental screenings, and assessments on their oral health.
Newborns can receive free screenings to check for congenital hypothyroidism, free preventative eye medications to ward off gonorrhea, hearing screenings, sickle cell screenings, and screening for a genetic disorder known as PKU, or phenylketonuria.
Kids of all ages can receive behavioral assessments, blood pressure screenings, vision screenings, hemoglobin screenings, obesity counseling and screenings, and medical histories. They may also receive regular measurements for their body mass index, height, and weight.
Adolescents are privy to free drug and alcohol use assessments and depression screenings. Sexually active girls can also receive cervical dysplasia screenings, while high-risk adolescents can receive HIV screenings and counseling, and screenings for sexually transmitted infections.
Children who have a higher risk of select disorders may receive free screenings or preventative measures to protect against those disorders.
Do adults also receive free preventative care under the Act?
Adults may receive a total of 16 preventative services under the Affordable Care Act. Vaccinations are one of those services, but others include screenings for alcohol misuse, blood pressure, colorectal cancer, cholesterol, depression, Type 2 diabetes, and HIV. Additional screenings include those for tobacco use, obesity, and syphilis.
Counseling services may also come with the screenings for specific conditions, such as alcohol misuse and depression. Counseling for sexually transmitted infections is available to high-risk adults. Eligible men may also receive screenings for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Adults who have a high risk of chronic disease may also receive diet counseling at no cost under the Affordable Care Act.
Do women have any free preventative services available?
Women can specifically benefit from 22 services offered under the Act, with several of them geared toward pregnant women. Services for all women include counseling for genetic testing, breast cancer mammography and chemoprevention, and screenings for Chlamydia infection and cervical cancer.
Additional benefits include screenings for gonorrhea, HIV, human papillomavirus, syphilis, and osteoporosis. Screening and counseling is also available for women who use tobacco or are experiencing domestic violence. Counseling for sexually transmitted infections is also one of the benefits, as are certain FDA-approved contraceptives.
Pregnant women may enjoy additional benefits that include support and products for breast feeding, and screenings for a urinary tract infection, anemia, and gestational diabetes. Two more available screenings for pregnant women include those for hepatitis B and Rh incompatibility. Women seeking to become pregnant may receive free folic acid supplements.
One more benefit for all women are free well-women visits. These are the appointments with a healthcare provider to provide women with the preventative services they require.