The following information about COVID-19 vaccination aims to educate health care providers while also offering reassurance to vulnerable people who have concerns about getting the vaccine because of lack of financial resources or immigration status.
COVID-19 vaccines are 100% free to all individuals in the U.S. Only insurance companies or the federal government can be billed for vaccine administration fees, not patients. While providers participating in the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program are required to request patient information to help verify an individual’s uninsured status — including Social Security Number and, if unavailable, a driver’s license/state ID number — this information is not required for an individual to get vaccinated.
Key responsibilities for organizations and providers administering COVID-19 vaccine:
• Must administer COVID-19 vaccine regardless of the patient’s ability to pay vaccine administration fees or their health insurance coverage status.
• May not charge an office visit fee or other fee if COVID-19 vaccination is the sole medical service provided.
• May not require patients to seek additional medical services to receive COVID-19 vaccination.
• May seek reimbursement from a program or plan that covers COVID-19 vaccine administration fees for the patient, such as a patient’s private insurance company, Medicare, Medicaid, or the federal government’s COVID-19 Uninsured Program.
• May not seek any reimbursement, including through balance billing, from vaccine recipients.
Key facts on reimbursement for COVID-19 services rendered to uninsured patients:
• The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) COVID-19 Uninsured Program is a voluntary federal program that reimburses providers for vaccine administration fees associated with uninsured individuals, as well as COVID-19 related testing and treatment for uninsured individuals, regardless of their immigration status.
If seeking reimbursement from the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program, providers are required to request certain information from the patient, including a Social Security Number and, if unavailable, a driver’s license/state ID number, solely to check if the patient has other health insurance.
Patients are NOT required to provide this information. Providers will still be reimbursed for eligible claims if they attest that they asked for this information, but it was not made available.
When requesting the patient’s Social Security number and other personal information, participating providers should remind patients that:
• Everyone can receive COVID-19 services, regardless of immigration status.
• The information will be used for reimbursement purposes only.
• The information will not be shared with immigration authorities.
• No one will be turned away if they don’t provide this information.
• Testing, treatment or vaccinations paid for by the federal government will not impact anyone’s current or future immigration status.
• Providers should tell uninsured patients they will not be billed for COVID-19 vaccine services.
Providers who bill patients for COVID-19 vaccination fees may be reported to the HHS Office of Inspector General, including those participating in the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program.
(Information provided by Health Resources & Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources.)