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COVID-19 vaccines at no cost to patients, but health department to start billing insurance April 5

LANSING, Mich. – In alignment with other COVID-19 vaccine providers in the region, the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) will start collecting health insurance information from people who are insured at vaccination appointments starting April 5. The health department stresses that there is no out-of-pocket cost for the vaccine whether someone is insured or not.

The federal government is providing COVID-19 vaccines free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status, but vaccine providers are allowed to seek reimbursement for a vaccine administration fee from insurance plans including Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. ICHD was the only local provider not billing the fee to insurance, but is changing course to be consistent with other providers.

“Mass vaccination has been a major undertaking for our health department, but we have operationalized the process and it runs very smoothly,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “We now have the capacity to start billing insurance. I assure people there will never be a cost to the person getting vaccinated. Cost and insurance should never create a barrier to getting vaccinated.”

The health department’s ongoing mass vaccination efforts include operations at the Michigan State University Pavilion, Dwight Rich School of the Arts and the Ingham County Fairgrounds in addition to multiple targeted one-day events to reach people who are at high risk or who face access barriers. To date, ICHD has offered these special events in 37 different locations.

Everyone age 16 and over will be eligible for the vaccine starting Monday, April 5. The health department encourages all residents to register to get vaccinated with ICHD at as well as to register with other providers in the community.