Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced today that it will cover administration of the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available to the public.
Vaccine administration will be covered for Wellmark members whose health benefits offer vaccine coverage. Members can review their benefits online or by calling the toll-free number listed on their Wellmark ID card.
The H1N1 vaccine is not intended to replace the seasonal flu vaccine. Both seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines are recommended, and can be received simultaneously.
“The H1N1 flu and seasonal flu are both preventable illnesses,” said Paul Karazija, M.D., Wellmark vice president and chief medical officer. “Getting the vaccines is the best way to protect yourself and your family.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that five high-risk groups be given priority to receive the vaccine:
- Pregnant women
- People who live with or care for children younger than six months
- Health care and emergency services personnel
- Children and young adults from six months to 24 years old
- Adults ages 25-64 years with chronic health conditions that increase the risk of complications from influenza infection
Wellmark members can learn more about the H1N1 vaccine by calling Personal Health Assistant 24/7 at 1-800-724-9122. The service can help members find community resources for receiving flu shots such as county health departments and pharmacies.