Insurance companies gear up for vaccine rollout

Published: Dec. 11, 2020 at 7:18 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Health leaders in Alaska have announced the first rounds of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna could get to Alaska as soon as next week. While the plan is rolled out, a lot of effort will be necessary from a lot of players, including the insurance companies.

On the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force’s homepage, it announced that they are working to ensure that no one in Alaska will have to pay for the vaccine. The page also says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that cost will not be an obstacle in receiving the vaccine.

Insurance companies, like Moda Health, have been working with the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force for months getting ready to dish out the vaccine said Vice President of Strategic Market Development Jason Gootee.

“We’re preparing in Alaska for the first vaccines to arrive by mid-December, so coming up here soon,” Gootee said.

Gootee said Moda is adapting their model further to help individuals during this time. He said before recently, they were mostly engaged in workplace employee coverage. Now they are expanding to allow for individual enrollment. He said that was always the plan, pandemic or not, but the timing worked out well with the vaccine’s release.

Those who enroll with Moda won’t have a co-pay to get vaccinated, he said. Again, the state said no one needs to worry about paying for the vaccine.

For those who aren’t insured, the deadline for open-enrollment for individual plans on the affordable care marketplace ends on Dec. 15.

If one is uninsured at that time, they’ll have to wait for the next enrollment period. However, Gootee said if one was to suddenly lose coverage, after losing their job for example, they could do emergency enrollment with Moda.

He said Alaskans in the Municipality of Anchorage, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area are eligible for the individual plans.

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