New bill will require insurance companies to pay into a state vaccination program
A new legislation in New Mexico would require the state’s health insurance companies to help cover the cost of vaccines for privately insured children. New Mexico is one of a small number of states that have a universal vaccine purchasing program in place. These programs are meant to boost immunization rates and, potentially, make the state a healthier place for children. Paying into this program is completely voluntary, as vaccinations have become a somewhat controversial issue.
Insurers would help ensure that the program has the funds it needs to cover vaccinations
Lawmakers supporting the legislation suggest that it is necessary to ensure that the state has the funding it needs to cover vaccination costs. Health insurance companies would be required to pay into the state’s program, thereby helping to cover the cost of vaccinations. Over the past decade, the state’s vaccination program has proven to be quite successful. New Mexico had once been considered one of the state’s with the lowest immunization rates in the country. Now, however, the state has a high rate of immunization.
Majority of program’s costs are currently covered by the state’s general fund
Under the state’s program, the New Mexico Health Department covers the cost of vaccinations for privately insured children. The program costs approximately $12 million annually. Children that are not covered by health insurance are eligible to receive vaccines through a federal program, which the state does not pay into. The majority of New Mexico’s program is covered by the state’s general fund and funds provided by a small number of health insurance companies that have agreed to pay into the program.
Vaccinations continue to be a controversial issue in the US
The issue of vaccinations for children has become somewhat emotionally charged. Many parents have opted not to have their children vaccinated due to concerns over the long-term effects that such medical treatment could have. A recent outbreak of measles in the United States and Mexico has brought more attention to the vaccination issue.