Insurance commissioner: COVID vaccines to be free

Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew N. Mais sent out a reminder last week that there should be no out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 vaccines for all Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant fully insured plans and all self-funded plans according to federal law.

“Along with all fully insured plans, employer-based plan sponsors must remove all cost sharing for COVID-19 vaccines for their workers and their families, and anyone without insurance is also eligible for no-cost COVID-19 vaccines,” said Mais.

“I urge all grandfathered and non-ACA compliant health insurance plans to follow suit and remove financial barriers to COVID-19 vaccines for individuals, workers, and their families.”

The Connecticut Insurance Department regulates all fully insured health insurance plans, including high-deductible health plans, issued in Connecticut only.

Last week, Gov. Ned Lamont released Executive Order No. 9Q Protection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic — Vaccine Administration, Reporting, and Out-Of-Network Charges.

The insurance department issued a notice to all health carriers on COVID-19 Immunization at “No-Cost” and Out-of-Network Reimbursement.

Consumers should know there are some differences among plans and policyholders should contact their insurer or employer to get additional information on important details, the department said.

Some employers, especially large ones, sponsor self-funded health plans that are regulated by the U.S. Department of Labor. Those plans are also required to cover COVID-19 vaccines with no out-of-pocket costs under the Federal CARES Act.

Consumers, insurers and brokers with questions may contact the department directly by email at insurance@ct.gov, online, or by calling 800-203-3447 or 860-297-3900.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, including guidance and other resources, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.