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Tags: covid | vaccines | treatment

WSJ: COVID Shots, Coverage to Shift From Govt to Individuals

WSJ: COVID Shots, Coverage to Shift From Govt to Individuals
A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccination booster shot for a customer at the Exhibition Pharmacy in Melbourne, Australia. (Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 18 August 2022 04:30 PM EDT

The government will stop paying for COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments, shifting the burden to insurance companies and individuals, likely raising prices, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Department of Health and Human Services has set a planning session on Aug. 30 with drugmakers, pharmacies, and state health departments to discuss the changes, the Journal reported on Thursday.

"We've known at some point we'd need to move over into the commercial market, and we're approaching that time now," Dawn O'Connell, assistant secretary at HHS for preparedness and response, told the Journal. "We don't want to do it by fiat."

From the outset, plans had been for private insurance and individuals to eventually take over coverage payment, even as the Trump administration set up an emergency plan that paid drug manufacturers and secured lower prices. The Biden administration has carried on that policy.

With the number of cases dropping and activities returning to normal, the Biden White House is looking to make the transition out of government payment, the Journal reported.

But the transition will take months, with considerations for the uninsured taken into account.

"There are issues of reimbursement, equitable access to vaccines and treatment, and distribution that need to be resolved," Anne McDonald Pritchett, senior vice president at industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America told the Journal.

The new plan would see individual insurers negotiating different prices for their plans as they do other medications, meaning a likely boon in profits for drugmakers Pfizer, its partner BioN, and Moderna.

And that would likely raise insurance premiums paid by consumers, Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told the Journal.

"Without the government purchasing vaccine doses in advance, the U.S. may fall behind other countries in getting quick access to boosters and new variant-specific vaccines," Levitt said.

Additionally, each drugmaker may have different timetables for moving vaccines or treatments to the market and Medicare and Medicaid programs for older and lower-income Americans don't cover antivirals.

"We want to make sure everyone who needs access gets access, O'Connell at HHS said.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
The government will stop paying for COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments, shifting the burden to insurance companies and individuals, likely raising prices, The Wall Street Journal reports.
covid, vaccines, treatment
349
2022-30-18
Thursday, 18 August 2022 04:30 PM
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