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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network Announce Interim Policy to Cover H1N1 Vaccine Administration for Fully-Insured Groups During 2009-2010 Flu Season
Date:9/11/2009

DETROIT, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network today announced an interim policy to automatically cover the cost of administration of the H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine for members in their fully-insured customer groups and individual coverage during the 2009-2010 flu season--unless a group chooses to opt out of the coverage.

The Blues also announced that it will enable larger self-funded groups whose benefit plans are customized to add coverage for the H1N1 administration upon request. Normal copays and deductibles would apply if the member has them.

The coverage is dependent on FDA approval and when the new vaccine becomes available to the general public. The federal government has indicated it will provide the H1N1 vaccine at no cost, which is why Blues coverage focuses on the administration of the vaccine shots.

In another move to broaden access to flu vaccines, BCBSM and BCN for the first time will cover flu shots administered by pharmacies--including the H1N1 vaccine, if a member with flu vaccine coverage opts to receive the vaccine through a pharmacy. This will eliminate the need for patients with flu vaccine coverage to seek reimbursement from BCBSM for a vaccination from a pharmacy.

"Blue Cross is doing what we can to keep Michigan as healthy as possible ahead of the pandemic's return this flu season," said Daniel J. Loepp, BCBSM president and CEO. "It's important that we act now to inoculate people most at risk and prevent as best we can the impact of H1N1 to our communities and health system."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that the H1N1 vaccine should not replace the seasonal flu vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine may be administered on the same day, according to the CDC.

BCBSM and BCN's decision to cover the H1N1
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
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