Special Broker Update Release from MMO – 12/14/20
Important Information About COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage and Availability
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is an important step toward preventing the spread of the virus. While there is still a lot of uncertainty around the vaccine distribution plans, we want to keep you informed regarding Medical Mutual’s plans related to coverage for the vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccine availability for all members
The federal government is coordinating the distribution plans for the COVID-19 vaccine with state health agencies. Initially, there will be a limited supply of the vaccine and it will be distributed to the populations at the highest risk, including healthcare workers, first responders such as police and paramedics, individuals residing in group settings (such as nursing homes), and people with underlying health conditions that put them at risk for serious complications from COVID-19.
Each state will communicate its distribution plans to the population. Groups and members located in Ohio can visit Coronavirus.Ohio.gov and click the COVID-19 Vaccination Program tab for more information. Members who live outside Ohio, or groups with a large number of employees located outside Ohio, should refer to the state health agency’s COVID-19 website for details.
Once the COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available, members will be able to receive the vaccine from healthcare providers and pharmacies. There may also be community vaccination sites set up throughout the state. Members should use the national vaccine finder website at VaccineFinder.org to find a convenient location to receive the vaccine. Please note: It may take several weeks for the information on the national vaccine finder to be updated as the vaccine makes its way across the country.
MEDICARE ADVANTAGE AND MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLANS
Coverage of the COVID-19 vaccine
For the remainder of 2020 and all of 2021, Original Medicare will cover the costs of all necessary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as the cost to have someone administer the vaccine, for Medicare Advantage, EGWP and Medicare Supplement members. No member cost sharing will be applied. After the public health emergency ends, the COVID-19 vaccine will be included as a preventive benefit under the members’ health plans beginning with the 2022 plan year.
Medicare Advantage and EGWP members can receive the vaccine from providers outside of the Medical Mutual Medicare network with no member cost sharing during the public health emergency declared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Medicare Supplement members can receive the vaccine from any provider or location that accepts Medicare.
If you have questions about Medical Mutual’s response to COVID-19, please contact your Cornerstone Senior Marketing Representative.