Additional COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Boosters Available at No Cost During Public Health Emergency
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 28, 2021
(LANSING, MICH) With boosters and additional COVID-19 vaccine doses being deployed to eligible people across the state, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is notifying consumers that federal law requires most health insurers to cover these shots at no cost to qualifying individuals.
"Vaccines, including additional doses and boosters, are an important tool to protect Michiganders from COVID-19, and the CARES Act allows consumers to get vaccinated without worrying about cost," said DIFS Director Anita Fox. "Consumers can call DIFS Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 for help with questions or concerns about using their health coverage."
Additional doses of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are currently being administered to immunocompromised individuals nationwide, with information about additional doses of the Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine expected soon. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently announced a plan for booster vaccine doses to be administered to eligible individuals starting this fall to provide additional protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Under the CARES Act, all COVID-19 vaccine shots, including these additional and booster doses, must be provided without cost sharing or other fees for most enrollees during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, currently set to expire October 19, 2021.
No-cost access to additional COVID-19 vaccine doses and booster doses also extends to anyone covered by government-provided health coverage, including Medicare and Medicaid. According to information published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), additional doses and boosters are available at no cost to those enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Programs such as Michigan's MIChild program. This coverage will continue for at least a year after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ends.
During this period, consumers cannot be charged for an office visit or other fee if the vaccine is the only medical service provided and providers may not require additional medical services to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If individuals believe they were improperly charged for an office visit solely related to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, they can submit a complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS or visiting tips.hhs.gov.
For Michiganders who need health coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2022, Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment will begin on November 1. Michiganders can obtain coverage by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace or by calling 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Consumers may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to obtain coverage now if they have experienced certain qualifying life changes. Additional information, including links to find free local help from navigators, is available on the DIFS website or by calling DIFS 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442.
The mission of the Department is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.