OBJECTIVE: The goal was to elicit perspectives of selected health insurance plan medical or quality improvement directors regarding factors related to coverage and reimbursement and perceptions of financing as a barrier to child and adolescent immunization. METHODS: Medical or quality improvement directors from 20 plans selected by America's Health Insurance Plans were invited to complete an online survey in July 2007. Respondents who agreed to follow-up interviews were invited to participate in telephone interviews conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staff members in August 2007. RESULTS: Fifteen plans (representing >67 million enrollees) responded to the online survey. All respondents covered all Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices-recommended child and adolescent vaccines in all or most products. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations were the most commonly cited criteria for coverage decisions (86.7%) and coverage modifications (100%). Factors affecting reimbursement that were cited most often were manufacturer's vaccine price (80%) and physician feedback (53.3%). In follow-up interviews with 10 self-selected respondents, manufacturer's price (7 of 10 plans) and physician feedback (4 of 10 plans) were identified as the most-important factors affecting reimbursement. Respondents said that reimbursement delays were most commonly attributable to providers' claim submission errors or patient ineligibility. Some respondents thought that vaccine financing was a barrier (4 of 10 plans) or somewhat a barrier (2 of 10 plans) to providing immunizations; others (4 of 10 plans) did not. CONCLUSION: Although these data suggest that health insurance coverage for recommended vaccines is high, coverage is not universal across all products offered.
- Health insurance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health