Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Covers H1N1 Vaccine for Members
Chicago, IL — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) announced today that it will waive co-pays and deductibles for the H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine.
"The H1N1 virus is expected to be a serious threat this flu season and we want to help our members protect themselves as best they can," Paul Handel, M.D., chief medical officer for Health Care Service Corporation - the company that operates BCBSIL.
The federal government is providing the H1N1 vaccine for free to health providers, but those providers may charge fees for its administration. As a result, HCSC will pay the administration fee at no cost to its fully insured health plan members. The insurer will also cover costs for members of self-funded ASO (Administrative Services Only) groups unless their group chooses not to provide the special coverage.
"This effort supports the CDC's recommendations and stresses the importance of receiving vaccination for individuals who are at higher risk of medical complications from H1N1," added Handel.
Because of a limited supply of the vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending the vaccine for people in high risk groups. Members who fit into one of these groups should contact their doctor:
- Pregnant women
- People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
- Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
- Persons between the ages of 6 months through 24 years
- People ages 25 through 64 years who have chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.
In order to benefit from this special coverage, a member must receive the vaccination from a provider in the BCBS network. While BCBSIL also strongly encourages its members to receive seasonal flu shots, this offer only relates to the H1N1 flu vaccine. Coverage for other vaccines will be in accordance with the individual's plan.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
With more than 7 million members, BCBSIL, a division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, is the largest health insurance company in Illinois. Started in 1936, BCBSIL is committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and its communities through accessible, cost-effective, quality health care. BCBSIL is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
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For More Information Contact:
- Mary Ann Schultz, Senior Manager of Media Relations, (312) 653-6701, Maryann_Schultz@bcbsil.com
- Bridget Houlihan, (312) 653-4668, Bridget_Houlihan@bcbsil.com