Next month, Indiana will no longer be offering free vaccines for children that are currently covered through some form of medical insurance. State officials say that the move will relieve some of the financial burden weighing on families. The costs of providing free vaccines for children have been trickling down the families for several years. Now, parents will have to rely on their insurance companies and local pediatricians to obtain the necessary immunizations for their children.
The controversial decision has received harsh criticism from both medical professionals and parents. As per state law, children must be properly immunized before they are admitted into schools. In previous years, parents have been able to obtain vaccines for their children through the state for as little as $10. Beginning July 1st, however, these same vaccines will cost families as much as $800.
The state will continue to provide low-cost vaccinations to those whose health insurance policies do not cover such treatments, as well as those of indigenous decent and those receiving coverage through Medicaid. Several insurance companies have voiced their concerns regarding the issue, saying the new law may mean a significant number of children may not get immunized, which puts them at risk of serious illnesses.
Health care professionals have suggested the state legislators consider a new law that would require all insurance companies in Indiana to cover immunizations. Such a law is unlikely to be passed before students return to school in August, but some legislators have expressed interest in the proposal.