Public Information Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 26, 2012
Contact: Christie Hix, RN, Immunization Program Manager, Collin County Health Care Services, 972-548-5549 or email@example.com
New State Vaccination Policies For Back-to-School Parents & College Students
(McKinney) – Parents who take their children to get back-to-school vaccines at Collin County Health Care Services (CCHCS) may be surprised this year, thanks to the state.
Insured children 18 years and younger can no longer get vaccines at CCHCS under a new change in state policy effective January 1st. In the past, CCHCS provided free or low cost vaccines to children who couldn’t afford them, including children with high co-pays or deductibles. These children were eligible because they were considered underinsured. Now, state and federal immunization funding cuts, increases in vaccine costs and heightened federal accountability for publicly-funded vaccines have changed the meaning of ‘underinsured.’
Children with insurance policies which cover vaccines are no longer considered underinsured, unless their policies meet one of the following criteria:
Although these recent changes have impacted the amount of vaccines CCHCS traditionally administers, this recent policy change by the state also promotes parents to find a medical home. A medical home is a partnership between patients and their physicians to ensure comprehensive and continuous medical care for patients with a goal of obtaining maximized health outcomes. The Affordable Care Act mandates that vaccines be covered as preventive care, so children enrolled in health plans within the past two years should not have to pay for vaccines at their doctors’ offices.
Another recent change was the amendment of H.B. 4189, also referred to as the Jamie Schanbaum Act, now known as S.B. 1107. This law requires a first-time student or transfer student of any institution of higher education (including private or independent institutions) and a student who previously attended an institution of higher education before January 1, 2012 who is enrolling again following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester to show proof that the student has been vaccinated against bacterial meningitis. Students whom this rule does not apply to are:
CCCHS offers the meningitis vaccine for $125. CCHCS is trying to get the word out before school starts, since for many districts this will impact student enrollment in late August. Last-minute parents rushing to CCHCS to get their children’s’ vaccines may be disappointed after standing in lines awaiting their turn. CCHCS expects the traditional back-to-school rush – however, if you have insurance, CCHCS cannot give you your vaccinations if you are 18 years of age and younger. For a complete listing of available immunizations and prices please visit our website at http://www.collincountytx.gov/healthcare_services/immunization.jsp. CCHCS is open Monday – Friday from 7:30 am to 11 am and 1 pm to 4 pm. No appointment is necessary and cash, check, Visa, MasterCard and Medicaid are accepted. A complete shot record is required for children 18 years old and younger.