Madison, Wis. – Today, the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) issued a bulletin affirming that the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided at no cost for all Wisconsin residents. As described in the bulletin and in accordance with federal guidance, all health insurers will be prohibited from applying cost sharing for the vaccine or for any costs associated with administration of the vaccine, and anyone without health insurance will also be able to get vaccinated without an out-of-pocket costs.
“As distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine continues, we want to ensure that every Wisconsinite knows they have access to the vaccine without any cost barriers,” said Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable. “Regardless of who your insurance company is, or if you even have insurance coverage, Wisconsin residents can be assured that they will not be charged to get the COVID-19 vaccine.”
The COVID-19 vaccine is currently being distributed in accordance with federal and state guidelines with health care personnel, people in long-term care and assisted living facilities, and other essential workers receiving priority access. Wisconsin’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program, as established by the state Department of Health Services, provides information about the state’s vaccine distribution plan. An executive summary of the plan can be found here. [https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02813.pdf]
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act required any COVID-19 vaccine to be covered at no cost to consumers. It also expanded the range of COVID-19 services that must be covered to include testing, office visits, and urgent care or emergency room visits. The bulletin issued by OCI affirms that all health insurers in Wisconsin must follow the CARES Act requirements and not apply any cost-sharing for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Tens of thousands of people across Wisconsin have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. And we know that low-income communities and communities of color have been disproportionally impacted,” said Commissioner Afable. “That’s why we’re working to ensure that everyone can get vaccinated regardless of whether or not you have health insurance.”
A copy of the bulletin issued by OCI can be found here.