Due to the elimination of federal 317 funding effective October 1, 2012, the Door County Public Health Department will no longer be able to vaccinate persons who have insurance that covers the cost of vaccines.
Health Officer/Director Rhonda Kolberg says parents are encouraged to contact their insurance company if they are uncertain about whether their insurance covers vaccinations. Kolberg says appointments will be required for immunizations starting October 1 at the Health Department so that staff can screen clients for insurance information prior to coming to the clinic. Historically, the Health Department has offered walk-in clinics for these services, but with the new program policy changes, appointments will now be needed.
The Health Department will be able to continue to provide immunizations to the following individuals:
- Those who are 18 years of age and younger who have no insurance, or are enrolled in Medical Assistance/BadgerCare, or are Native Americans or Alaskan Natives.
- Adults and children whose health insurance does not cover vaccines. (Most health insurance plans are required to cover vaccines.)
- Uninsured adults.
There are also some exceptions to this new rule. These vaccines can be given to all individuals, regardless of insurance coverage:
- For this 2012-2013 flu season only, Health Departments can give Influenza (flu) vaccine, free-of-charge, to any child aged 6 months through18 years, whether they have insurance or not.
- Currently, any vaccine with pertussis (whooping cough) can be given free-of-charge to adults and/or children. This includes the Tdap vaccine for adults.
- The Health Department purchases some vaccines and individuals can pay to receive these vaccines. These include Adult flu vaccine at $30.00 per dose or Medicare Part B, and Hepatitis A vaccine at $25.00 per dose.
The Health Department has been working with community medical providers to help assure that all community members will have access to immunization services, regardless of insurance status. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reminds people that disease prevention is the key to public health. It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it. Vaccines prevent disease in the people who receive them, and protect those who come into contact with unvaccinated individuals. Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that were once common in this country, including polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), tetanus, and mumps.