Blue Cross to cover COVID-19 booster at $0 for eligible members

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FILE – In this March 29, 2021 file photo, a worker readies syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Metairie, La. Even people who have recovered from COVID-19 are urged to get vaccinated to avoid reinfection, especially amid the threat of the extra-contagious delta variant — and there’s growing evidence the shots offer those survivors bonus protection against mutants.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – State health officials announced that based on recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance, third doses of COVID-19 vaccines are available to Louisianians with certain health conditions that put them at higher risk from COVID-19.

Last week, the CDC recommended people whose immune systems are compromised and who have already gotten two doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines) get a third dose as a booster.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana will cover the COVID-19 booster at $0 out of pocket for eligible members of individual and employer health plans. Eligible members of Medicare and Medicaid plans or uninsured patients also can get a COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. This no-cost coverage is required by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

At this time, there is no booster recommendation for people who got the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine or for people who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines but do not have health conditions that affect their immunity. 

Health officials are working to determine when or if other people will need booster vaccines. Visit the Louisiana Department of Health’s website, www.ldh.la.gov, to see the latest updates and information about the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. You can also see more information about the state’s booster vaccine recommendation, including frequently asked questions.

Who Should Get a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster?

Currently, federal and state health officials are only recommending the COVID-19 vaccine booster for people who have had two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and who:  

  • Are going through cancer treatment
  • Had an organ transplant or stem cell transplant and are taking medicine to suppress their immune systems
  • Have HIV or other immune-suppressing health conditions 
  • Take certain types of prescription drugs that could lower their immunity 

Visit the CDC’s website for more information about who should get a booster vaccine. People who qualify should get their third-dose booster vaccines at least 28 days after their second dose. If you are eligible for a booster, you will need to fill out a self-attestation form and bring it with you to your vaccine appointment. 

If you are not sure whether or not you should get a COVID-19 vaccine booster, ask your healthcare provider for guidance. 

Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine Booster

  • You can call the State of Louisiana’s Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774 for help scheduling an appointment. The hotline staff can help you find vaccine locations near you or connect you with clinicians who can answer your vaccine questions. Or, visit the Louisiana Department of Health’s website to see a list of vaccine locations. You can search by parish to find a vaccine site near you, and you can see which types of vaccine are being given at different locations. 
  • You can get free rides to and from vaccine appointments. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is sponsoring ride share programs statewide, and many community organizations offer similar programs. If you do not have a vehicle, are unable to drive or need transportation assistance, call 211 to get connected to programs in your area. 

Visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube page to see short videos on the COVID-19 vaccines and other health topics.

For information on what Blue Cross is doing in response to COVID-19, visit www.bcbsla.com/covid19

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