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Insurers will be required to cover the cost of a vaccination for the novel coronavirus, Oregon Health Authority says.

COURTESY PHOTO: OHSU - A Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown here. 
Oregon residents won't have to cough up any dough when getting a shot in the arm to protect against the novel coronavirus, public health leaders say.

Public Health Director Rachael Banks ordered that the COVID-19 vaccination "shall be covered by insurance," according to an Oregon Health Authority official declaration on Jan. 27.

That means private insurers cannot charge for the cost of a dose of the vaccine, for associated supplies or for administrative expenses, such as the cost in staff time.

Banks said she expects health care providers to avoid asking or expecting patients to cover administrative costs not directly associated with the vaccine.

"There should be no financial barrier to getting the vaccine, whether it's a co-pay or administrative fee," Banks said. "Even small costs can be a big burden for people with limited resources, particularly considering the economic challenges people have faced for the last year."

The health order covers both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the only such inoculations approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so far.

Those without private insurance shouldn't fear any hidden fees either, as the Oregon Health Plan and Medicare programs already do not charge for vaccination costs.

Zane Sparling
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