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COVID-19 Vaccines and Coverage

Posted December 18, 2020 (Updated March 12, 2021)

This notice has been updated to include the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmaceutical companies have moved to produce vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarded Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to three pharmaceutical companies for their vaccines: Pfizer  on Dec. 11, 2020 and Moderna  on Dec. 18, 2020 and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson  on Feb. 27, 2021.

Federal and state health officials are working with the medical community to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.

Initially, the federal government will pay for the vaccine. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL), or self-funded groups, will cover administration of the vaccine as noted below:

Fully insured:

  • Vaccine and administration covered as a preventive service with no cost-share to members at in-network providers
  • Vaccine and administration covered with no cost-share to members if delivered at out-of-network providers through the end of the public health emergency

Self-funded employer groups:

  • Non-grandfathered self-funded employer groups - vaccine and administration covered as a preventive service with no cost-share to members at in-network providers
  • Vaccine and administration covered at no cost-share to members at out-of-network providers through the end of the public health emergency
  • Self-funded employer groups that don’t cover preventive vaccines through their pharmacy benefit must cover the vaccine through their medical benefit
  • Grandfathered plans are not required to cover preventive services, including the COVID-19 vaccine

Medicare

  • For 2020 and 2021, Medicare payment for the COVID-19 vaccine and its administration will be through the original fee-for-service Medicare program.
  • Submit claims for administering the COVID-19 vaccine to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) using product-specific codes for each vaccine approved.
  • Members will have no cost-sharing on vaccines from in- and out-of-network providers through Dec. 31, 2021.

Medicaid

  • Most Medicaid members will have no cost-sharing on vaccines from in- and out-of-network providers. See the CMS Medicaid toolkit  for more details.
  • The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services  (HFS) has posted the current coding and rates, as well as billing guidance for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Encounter Rate Clinics (ERCs) related to the COVID-19 vaccine and its administration.

Reimbursement:

  • In-network providers will be reimbursed for the administration fee based on contracted rates.
  • Out-of-network (OON) providers will be reimbursed based on established OON reimbursement policy that follows Medicare rates.

Balance billing: Providers are prohibited from billing patients for the vaccine or its administration, including balance billing, if the provider received the vaccine at no cost from the government.

Coding claims: CMS and the American Medical Association (AMA) have identified the codes to use in submitting claims. For more information, see CMS’ guidance .

When billing a vaccine administration code with an office visit, if the vaccine is not the primary purpose of the office visit, bill the vaccine on a separate claim.

Code

Use

Description

91300

 Vaccine

Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 Vaccine SARSCOV2 VAC 30MCG/0.3ML IM

0001A

 Admin

Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 Vaccine Administration – First Dose ADM SARSCOV2 30MCG/0.3ML 1ST

0002A

 Admin

Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 Vaccine Administration – Second Dose ADM SARSCOV2 30MCG/0.3ML 2ND

91301

 Vaccine

Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine SARSCOV2 VAC 100MCG/0.5ML IM

0011A

 Admin

Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine Administration – First Dose ADM SARSCOV2 100MCG/0.5ML1ST

0012A

 Admin

Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine Administration – Second Dose ADM SARSCOV2 100MCG/0.5ML2ND

91303 Vaccine Janssen/Johnson & Johnson - Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, DNA, spike protein, adenovirus type 26 (Ad26) vector, preservative free, 5x10 viral particles/0.5mL dosage, for intramuscular use
0031A Admin Janssen/Johnson & Johnson - Immunization administration by intramuscular injection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, DNA, spike protein, adenovirus type 26 (Ad26) vector, preservative free, 5x1010 viral particles/0.5mL dosage, single dose

Dosage: Candidate vaccines may require one or two doses. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one dose.

More information:

  • CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook  for Jurisdiction Operations
  • Provider Relief Fund  – for reimbursement for administering the COVID-19 vaccine to the uninsured
  • CMS Medicaid Toolkit  –- Coverage and Reimbursement of COVID-19 Vaccines, Vaccine Administration, and Cost Sharing under Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Basic Health Program
  • CMS guidance  on Medicare billing for the COVID-19 vaccine administration
  • Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services  for Medicaid information

We continue to monitor information provided by the CDC and other government and health officials. We’ll provide updates when we have them. For the latest information on COVID-19, we recommend visiting the CDC’s COVID-19 website .

 

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