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COVID-19 Watch: Vaccines and testing must be free

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COVID-19 vaccines and their administration are at no cost for any individual living in the United States, regardless of their insurance or immigration status. 

All providers administering COVID-19 vaccines are required to sign the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement. Among other requirements, this agreement states that providers must administer COVID-19 vaccines at no out-of-pocket cost to patients. Providers are able to charge insurance companies for the administration of the COVID vaccine, yet patients do not have any financial responsibilities. For uninsured patients, providers may bill certain federal agencies that reimburse the provider for the administration of the vaccine. Furthermore, to ensure no surprise billing, providers may not require that patients have additional medical services to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.

Health plans and health insurers failing to comply with these legal requirements may be reported to appropriate state insurance departments or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for possible enforcement action. 

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