In a recent development, pharmacies in Vermont are now able to administer COVID-19 vaccines to children covered under the state’s Medicaid program, Dr. Dynasaur. This change comes as a result of new federal regulations that have expanded the coverage.
Previously, families like Elaine Cissi’s faced difficulties in getting their children vaccinated against COVID-19. Despite having Dr. Dynasaur coverage, pharmacies did not accept it as a form of payment for the vaccines. Cissi had to pay $192 out of pocket for her daughter’s vaccination. However, with the recent update, Dr. Dynasaur now covers COVID vaccines for children aged 3-18 at pharmacies.
This change has been welcomed by many parents and caregivers who have struggled to find access to vaccines through their pediatricians or healthcare providers. Elaine Cissi expressed relief that her daughter, Greer, was able to receive her booster shot just in time for Thanksgiving, allowing her to interact with her elderly grandfather without any concerns.
It is estimated that approximately 67,000 children on Dr. Dynasaur will now have access to COVID vaccines through pharmacies. In addition, pharmacies will also reprocess claims for patients who have already paid out of pocket for a COVID vaccine since September 11 of this year.
While this update brings temporary relief to families, it remains uncertain how long this expanded coverage will last. The Department of Vermont Health Access wants to emphasize the importance of taking advantage of this opportunity while it is available.
It is worth noting that the state has taken steps to inform pharmacies about the new regulations. However, there have been cases where pharmacists were not aware of the change. Kyle Maxwell, a pharmacist at Lakeside Pharmacy, expressed the need for clearer communication from the state to ensure they are properly informed and can provide the right services to their patients.
The Department of Vermont Health Access has acknowledged the issue and plans to send out alerts to patients and another communication to pharmacies soon. In the meantime, they are encouraging anyone with questions or concerns to reach out to them directly.
Q: What is Dr. Dynasaur?
A: Dr. Dynasaur is Vermont’s Medicaid program for children under 19 years of age.
Q: How many children on Dr. Dynasaur can now access COVID vaccines at pharmacies?
A: Approximately 67,000 children on Dr. Dynasaur are eligible to receive COVID vaccines at pharmacies.
Q: Is the expanded coverage permanent?
A: No, the updated coverage is temporary, and its duration is uncertain. It is recommended to take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts.
Q: How will pharmacies reprocess claims for patients who have already paid out of pocket for a COVID vaccine?
A: Pharmacies will reprocess the claims of patients who paid out of pocket for a COVID vaccine on or after September 11, 2023.
Q: What steps is the state taking to inform pharmacies about the change?
A: The state has updated its resources and sent communications to pharmacies regarding the new regulations. However, there have been instances where pharmacists were not aware of the change, and the state is working to improve communication.