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Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - September 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company

Blue cross and blue shield of texas covers h1n1 vaccine for members

Houston County Courier -  September 2009

RICHARDSON - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) announced on Thursday, Sept. 24 that it will waive co-pays and deductibles for the H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine.
“Because the H1N1 virus is expected to be a serious threat this flu season, we want to be proactive in encouraging our members to protect themselves as early as possible,” says Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, vice president and chief medical officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.
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, BCBSTX 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations and stresses the importance of receiving vaccinations for individuals who are at higher risk of medical complications from H1N1,” Sanchez added.
Because of a limited supply of the vaccine, CDC is recommending the vaccine for people in high risk groups. 
Members who fit into one of these groups should contact their doctor:
1.    Pregnant women
2.    People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
3.    Health care and emergency medical services personnel
4.    Persons between the ages of 6 months through 24 years
5.    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 BCBSTX network.
While BCBSTX 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.





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