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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 30, 2009 – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) announced today that it will waive copays and deductibles for the H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine.
"The H1N1 virus is expected to be a serious threat this flu season and we want to help our members protect themselves as best they can," stated Matthew Fontana, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, BCBSNM.
The federal government is providing the H1N1 vaccine for free to health providers, but those providers may charge fees for its administration. As a result, BCBSNM will pay the administration fee at no cost to its fully insured health plan members. The insurer will also cover costs for members of self-funded ASO (Administrative Services Only) groups, unless their group chooses not to provide the special coverage.
"This effort supports the CDC's recommendations and stresses the importance of receiving vaccinations for individuals who are at higher risk of medical complications from H1N1," added Fontana.
Because of a limited supply of the vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending the vaccine for people in high-risk groups. Members who fit into one of these groups should contact their doctor:
- Pregnant women
- People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
- Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
- Persons between the ages of 6 months through 24 years
- People ages 25 through 64 years who have chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems
In order to benefit from this special coverage, a member must receive the vaccination from a provider in the BCBS network. While BCBSNM also strongly encourages its members to receive seasonal flu shots, this offer relates to only the H1N1 flu vaccine. Coverage for other vaccines will be in accordance with the individual's plan.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.