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posted on June 15, 2009 16:32
      June 15, 2009                                                                                   
 
Blue Cross Partners with State to Provide Childhood Vaccines
 
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) and Blue Cross of Idaho are forming a partnership to help ensure Idaho children get the vaccines they need. DHW and the private insurance carrier have initiated a vaccine purchasing cooperative that will maintain vaccine availability for Idaho children insured by Blue Cross of Idaho.
 
“This will result in many Idaho children continuing to receive vaccines that can protect them from serious illnesses and diseases,” said Jane Smith, Division of Health administrator. “We hope other insurance carriers will follow suit and consider participating in the purchasing program.”
 
While the state provides immunizations for children eligible for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program – including those who are uninsured, underinsured, enrolled in Medicaid, or who are Native American/Alaskan Native – hospitals and physicians will be required to start purchasing separate vaccine supplies for insured children beginning July 1. 
 
But thanks to the purchasing partnership, healthcare providers will not need to purchase vaccine for children covered by Blue Cross starting August 1. Providers instead will use state-supplied vaccine for both Blue Cross insured and VFC-eligible children. Blue Cross will reimburse the state for vaccine administered to its members 0-18 years of age.   
 
“Blue Cross of Idaho’s participation in this program is one more way for us to demonstrate our commitment to improving the health of Idahoans,” said Ray Flachbart, President and CEO, Blue Cross of Idaho. “Immunizations are one of the most important means of safeguarding the health of Idaho’s children.”
 
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(For more information please contact DHW Public Information Officer Tom Shanahan, 208-334-0668, or Blue Cross of Idaho Public Relations Manager Stewart Johnson at 208-286-3478.)