New Guidelines for Health Department Back-To-School Vaccines

browncountyhealthcenterThe Brownwood/Brown County Health Department reminds the public of new guidelines for eligibility for the Texas Vaccines for Children program and wants to clarify some of the changes in the vaccination process to help parents better prepare when arranging for their children’s necessary vaccinations in order to return to school.

According to officials at the health department, the Texas Vaccines for Children program is funded by the state and it provides free or low-cost vaccines to children (ages birth-18 years of age) who are on Medicaid or have either no insurance or inadequate insurance. The vaccine is purchased by the state and the only cost to parents is a nominal administration fee for giving the shots.

Below are the guidelines for eligibility for the state-funded vaccine. The child must meet one of the following criteria:

1. The child is uninsured

2. The child is on Medicaid

3. The child is on CHIPS

4. The child is American Indian or Alaskan Native

5. The child is underinsured:

a. The child has private insurance, but the coverage does not   include vaccines.

b. The child’s insurance covers only select vaccines. In that case, the child would qualify to receive state-funded vaccine for the immunizations that are not covered by the insurance.

c. The child has private insurance, but the insurance only pays for vaccines up to a certain dollar amount. After that amount is reached, the child becomes eligible for the state-funded vaccine.

For children who have insurance, privately purchased vaccine is available.  Individuals can contact their primary care provider to find out if they have private vaccine available for insured patients.

Another option for children who have insurance is available at the health department, where private vaccine is also carried for children who have private insurance.  The health department does not file health insurance, so the individual will be required to pay for the cost of the vaccine. Documentation of the vaccine and the required coding will be provided to the individual so they can file with their insurance for reimbursement of the cost of the vaccine.

If an individual does not know if their insurance covers vaccines, they can call their insurance company. For questions about vaccines available at the health department, please call 325-646-0554.