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COVID-19 vaccines are free to all eligible, health officials remind Wisconsinites

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 4:16 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - State and federal health officials reminded Wisconsinites Tuesday that they should not be asked to pay for a COVID-19 vaccine and also warned vaccine providers not to ask for payment.

The Department of Health Services stated that COVID-19 vaccines are free to all, regardless of a recipient’s ability to pay for the shot.

Vaccine providers who participate in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 vaccination program are required to sign an agreement to receive and administer the shots, including the stipulation that they not seek payment from the recipient.

In the reminder, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin Timothy O’Shea stated that non-compliance with this provision could result in criminal or civil penalties for providers.

“Providers cannot charge anyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine or deny anyone from getting the vaccine if they are uninsured or underinsured – adding unlawful charges creates barriers, especially for persons of limited means, and undermines public health and safety,” said O’Shea.

DHS notes that providers can ask for reimbursement from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s COVID-19 Uninsured Program for the costs of administering a shot to those who are not insured, or from the HSRA Coverage Assistance Fund to cover the costs for recipient whose health insurance doesn’t cover vaccine administration fees.

DHS secretary-designee Kimberly Timberlake added that COVID-19 vaccines are “safe, effective and free” for Wisconsinites ages 12 and older.

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