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January 22, 2018

DES MOINES, IA – Childhood vaccination rates in Iowa are above the national average, according to a new study by the Blue Cross® Blue Shield® Association (BCBSA). A total of more than 74 percent of Iowa children were up-to-date on their CDC-recommended vaccinations External Site, compared to 73.5 percent nationally. Data also shows 70.6 percent of young Wellmark members born in 2010 were fully vaccinated by the age of 2 years and 3 months compared to 78.7 percent of children born in 2013. This is also above the national average of 69 percent and 77 percent, respectively.

“Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children and teens from harmful diseases,” said Dr. Tim Gutshall, Wellmark’s chief medical officer. “Recommendations for which vaccinations are needed and when, can change over time. That’s why it’s important to schedule an annual well-child visit with your family doctor to stay up-to-date on vaccinations and discuss any additional health concerns.”

Missed well-child visits were the largest reason, nationally, for under vaccination, accounting for 62 percent of under-vaccinated cases for children born in 2013. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 10 visits to the pediatrician by age two.

The study also found in Iowa, 1.1 percent of medical claims analyzed were coded with a parental vaccination refusal from 2010 through 2016, compared to 3.3 percent nationally. Refusal rates climbed nationally from 2.5 percent for children born in 2010 to 4.2 percent for children born in 2013.

This is the 17th study of the Blue Cross Blue Shield: The Health of America Report® series, a collaboration between BCBSA and Blue Health Intelligence®, which uses a market-leading claims database to uncover key trends and insights into health care affordability and access to care. Analysis was performed by and also includes medical claims data from HealthCore®, a wholly owned and independently operated subsidiary of Anthem, Inc.

For more information, visit www.bcbs.com/healthofamerica External Site.

About Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Wellmark, Inc. does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., Wellmark Synergy Health, Inc. and Wellmark Value Health Plan, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., Wellmark Synergy Health, Inc. and Wellmark Value Health Plan, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association External Site is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through through The Health of America Report External Site series and the national BCBS Health Index. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook External Site, check out our videos on YouTube External Site, follow us on Twitter External Site and check out our blog External Site.

About BHI

Blue Health Intelligence (BHI) External Site is the nation’s premier resource for data-driven insights about healthcare trends and best practices, promoting healthier lives and more affordable access to safe and effective care. BHI leverages a team of analytics experts and advanced technology, coupled with access to the greatest number of healthcare claims—172 million lives—gathered over 10 years in a safe, HIPAA-compliant, secure database. The resulting conformed, reliable data set has the broadest, deepest pool of integrated medical and pharmacy claims, reflecting medical utilization in every ZIP code. Blue Health Intelligence (BHI) is an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. BHI is a trade name of Health Intelligence Company, LLC.