Posted on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 7:00 am
The end of summer vacation is upon us. It is time to make sure your kids have the immunizations that their school requires. Some schools will allow students to begin a new school year without having the required shots, but will require all students to be immunized by a certain date. If you have been hesitating to get your child immunized due to financial difficulty, there some frugal (or free) options available.
If You Have Insurance
Did you get your health insurance through the Marketplace? For many, this means you purchased a plan through Healthcare.gov or through your state’s health insurance Marketplace. Those health plans are required to cover vaccines for children ages 0 through 18 without any cost-sharing requirements. The thing to watch out for is that you must use an in-network provider.
The immunizations that are included are:
* Diphtheria, Teatnus, Pertussus
* Haemophilus influenzae type b
* Hepatitis A
* Hepatitis B
* Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus vaccine for females
* Inactivated Poliovirus
* Measles, Mumps, Rubella
If You Are Uninsured
Your child may be eligible for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. It provides vaccines to children whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them.
To qualify, the child must be younger than 19 years of age. The child must also be one of the following: Medicaid-eligible, Uninsured, Underinsured, and/or American Indian or Alaska Native. There may be a small fee for the immunization.
Another option is to ask your child’s school if they will be holding an immunization clinic. You might need to register your child for it. The immunizations offered there might be free or very low cost. Some schools will have made arrangements with local health clinics in order to offer parents low-cost immunizations and sports physicals for their children.
Don’t forget to check the local pharmacies! Many are advertising now that they can provide back-to-school immunizations. If you have health insurance, make sure that the pharmacy is within your network before you get the immunizations. If the pharmacy is out of network, you may end up paying more for the immunization that you would at a pharmacy was in-network.
CVS and Walgreens typically offer back-to-school immunizations around the start of a new school year. If you use a different pharmacy, it is possible that they will offer the same thing. Sometimes, pharmacies will offer special coupons to parents who have their children immunized there.