Vaccines must be free for Americans, HHS reminds providers

HHS' Office of Inspector General is reminding providers and the public that the COVID-19 vaccine must be administered at no cost to recipients after additional reports of patient charges have surfaced.

The inspector general said providers in the CDC's COVID-19 vaccination program are obligated to comply with terms of the program, including no out-of-pocket costs for recipients and no fees for administration for patients if it is the only service provided. 

"OIG is aware of complaints by patients about charges by providers when getting their COVID-19 vaccines. Providers that charge impermissible fees must refund them and ensure that individuals are not charged fees for the COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine administration in the future," the inspector general wrote. 

The inspector general clarified that providers are still permitted to bill insurers or the COVID-19 uninsured program for an administration fee. 

Access the full April 15 message from HHS here.

 

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