CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to Cover All Costs for COVID-19 Vaccines
CareFirst Pledges Additional Support of Communities, State and Local Officials with Coordinated COVID-19 Response Plans
Baltimore, Md./Washington, D.C. – With the first COVID-19 vaccine granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 11, today, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) announced costs associated with all FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccines will be fully covered for all members, including members in self-insured plans.
“The health and well-being of our members and communities remain top priorities for CareFirst,” said Brian D. Pieninck, President and CEO of CareFirst. “We are fully committed to removing any and all barriers so that people get the care they need. No one should worry about receiving the COVID-19 vaccination because of the cost. This pandemic has proven that we’re better together when we are all healthier, and this includes staying up to date on all recommended and available vaccinations. CareFirst will continue to support our members, communities, providers and public health authorities in the distribution of vaccines and the critically important communications and planning in the weeks and months ahead.”
CareFirst recognizes that some individuals and families may have concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. As a result, CareFirst is working with state and local leaders across the region to help support coordinated community vaccination efforts related to communication and distribution processes but cautions patience. Initial vaccine supplies are expected to be limited. Most states will distribute the vaccines in phases, using Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations to determine which populations will be vaccinated during each phase. As vaccines become more widely and readily available, each state will communicate when and where vaccinations will occur. Throughout the public health emergency, it is important to continue practicing social distancing behaviors such as wearing a mask, staying at least six feet apart, and washing your hands.
“We must all work together and follow the vaccine recommendations of health professionals to help stop the spread of COVID-19,“ said Dr. Daniel J. Winn, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at CareFirst. “Protecting our community is a shared responsibility and in order to achieve the most effective health benefits from these vaccines, we must all do our part. Higher percentages of people vaccinated will be important to provide the protection needed to help end this pandemic and help keep ourselves and our communities healthy.
CareFirst has taken numerous actions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to support its members, providers and communities. These include cost-share waivers for COVID-19 testing and treatment, premium credits and rebates for individual, small and large group customers, premium deferrals, and relaxation of authorization and concurrent review criteria. CareFirst also provided accelerated payments to an array of healthcare providers experiencing financial strain and invested in community nonprofit organizations working to address complex and emerging health, social and economic needs. In addition, CareFirst committed resources for personal protection equipment (PPE) to almost 200 federally qualified health centers and independent primary care providers and recently delivered care packages to vulnerable members.
CareFirst will continue to work with its jurisdictions and public health authorities to provide support and identify barriers and solutions to coronavirus care for its members. Visit CareFirst’s COVID Resource Center and website to remain up to date on the latest information.
About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShieldIn its 83rd year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit healthcare company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to 3.4 million individuals and employers in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. In 2019, CareFirst invested $43 million to improve overall health, and increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of healthcare throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our website at www.carefirst.com and our transforming healthcare page at www.carefirst.com/transformation, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.