How to Pay for Important Vaccines

There are five types of hepatitis, hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. There are vaccines to help protect you from hepatitis A and B. There is no vaccine available currently for hepatitis C. Clinical trials are currently underway for developing a vaccine for hep C. The World Health Organization states the vaccine for hepatitis B can also protect you from hepatitis D.1 There is a vaccine for hepatitis E, but only available in China.2

The most common forms of hepatitis in the U.S. are hepatitis A, B, and C.

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Vaccine recommendations

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the hepatitis B vaccine should be given to all infants and children up to age 18.1 The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends that adults in high-risk groups be vaccinated.3

Liver specialists (hepatologists, gastroenterologist and infectious disease specialists) typically recommend hepatitis A and B vaccines for all patients with hepatitis C. Various other vaccines are recommended for patients with liver disease to protect them from further complications and associated diseases.

Resources to pay for vaccines

Some options for paying for vaccines include

Private health insurance

Health insurance plans are required to cover recommended vaccines without charging the patient a co-payment, even without meeting a yearly deductible. This means vaccines are no cost to the patient.

The following standard vaccines are recommended and normally covered by private health insurance: Hepatitis A and B, Herpes Zoster, Human Papillomavirus, Influenza, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Meningococcal, Pneumococcal, Tetanus, Diphteria, Pertussis, and Varicella.

Military insurance

If you serve in the military or a military dependent, you are eligible for TRICARE. Under TRICARE, costs are covered for standard vaccinations.

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B covers most standard vaccines with little to no cost to you. The doctor you see will need to accept Medicare.

Medicaid

Medicaid pays for standard vaccines for children and some vaccines for adults. Copays may depend on which state you live in and what doctor you see.

Local public health centers

There are federal-funded and local health centers available that provide preventive and wellness care as well as vaccines. Cost may be based on a sliding fee based on your income.

State health departments

Free and low-cost vaccines are available through your state health department. Contact your state's health department for vaccine resource centers.

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