HHS will pay providers to administer COVID-19 vaccines to underinsured patients, the agency said Monday.
The new COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund should ensure that providers get fully reimbursed for vaccinating patients with health plans that don't cover vaccination fees or require patient cost-sharing. Under the program, HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration will reimburse providers for such services at national Medicare rates.
"We listened to our healthcare providers on the frontlines of the pandemic. On top of increasing reimbursement rates tied to administering the shots, we are closing the final payment gap that resulted as vaccines were administered to underinsured individuals. No healthcare provider should hesitate to deliver these critical vaccines to patients over reimbursement cost concerns," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
Providers can submit claims dating back to Dec. 14, 2020.
HHS already reimbursed providers for vaccinating patients without health coverage, but providers had complained they weren't getting fully compensated for administering vaccines to underinsured patients.
The agency will pay for the COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund using money from the Provider Relief Fund.