APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has an important message for anyone seeking the COVID-19 vaccine, it should be at no cost to you personally.
The program is run through the CDC and all providers sign an agreement before they receive shipments of the vaccine saying they will not charge individuals for the shot.
Acting U.S. Attorney Timothy O’Shea for the Western District of Wisconsin said, “Adding unlawful charges creates barriers, especially for persons of limited means, and undermines public health and safety.”
DHS said that billing vaccine recipients or denying a potential recipient based on ability to pay “may result in the provider’s suspension or termination from the CDC COVID-19 vaccination program and potential criminal and civil penalties.”
Local healthcare providers say it is important that everyone gets a chance to get vaccinated, no matter their ability to pay.
Jacob Rouse, the Director of Revenue Cycle for Bellin Health said, “Vaccinate and make sure there aren’t any barriers. The CARES Act and the HEROES Act, it all points towards that very simple theme, patients won’t be responsible for the cost of the vaccine.”
Providers across the state can bill both public and private insurance companies in order to recoup some of the money spent on the vaccination efforts.
“There is never going to be a patient cost, said Rouse. “Bellin, any of the health systems that patients are going to, there will not be any cost passed on to a patient whether they have insurance or they don’t have insurance.”
Officials also are reminding Wisconsinites that lack of insurance should not pose a barrier to vaccination because it is not required to get the coronavirus vaccine.