LifeWise announces actions to waive certain out-of-pocket associated with H1N1 vaccine

Source: LifewiseWa.com
10/1/2009

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, WA – (October 1, 2009) – LifeWise Health Plan of Washington today announced actions to provide peace of mind to its members by waiving certain out-of-pocket costs that would otherwise be associated with the administration of the H1N1 vaccine.

“LifeWise has been planning and preparing for scenarios related to H1N1 flu since the issue arose this spring,” said Dr. Roki Chauhan, LifeWise’s Chief Medical Officer. “We are actively engaged with our associates, our members, and our network of healthcare providers to meet their respective needs on this issue.”

LIFEWISE WAIVES MEMBER COSTS FOR H1N1 VACCINE

LifeWise of Washington is waiving certain out-of-pocket costs that would otherwise be incurred by members receiving the H1N1 vaccine. LifeWise will cover the cost of administration of the H1N1 vaccine for all members in fully insured groups, including those who have reached their preventive care benefit maximum or whose plan does not include an immunization benefit.

This action is part of our efforts since April, when H1N1 came to the attention of the health community, to be prepared to provide continuous service to its providers and members in the event of a major flu outbreak. The decision to waive certain out-of-pocket expenses related to the administration of the H1N1 vaccine until further notice is based on LifeWise’s recognition of the unique nature of this flu virus and the company’s desire to encourage appropriate member access to the vaccine.

“We want LifeWise members to have peace of mind knowing that receiving the H1N1 vaccine will not require payment of out of pocket costs for administration of the vaccination,” Chauhan added.

“We urge our members in at-risk groups as defined by the CDC to receive vaccinations recommended by that agency. In the meantime, we strongly encourage everyone to follow common sense steps to help minimize flu transmission,” Chauhan concluded.

The CDC currently recommends individuals in the following groups receive the H1N1 vaccine:

  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
  • Persons between the ages of 6 months through 24 years
  • People ages 25 through 64 years who have chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

LifeWise remains actively engaged in monitoring and preparing for all appropriate steps to support its associates, members, and network of healthcare providers during the upcoming flu season.

More information regarding the flu and the H1N1 virus, including links to relevant health organizations, is available at our “The Flu And You” page.

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