AVAC Welcomes Passage of Inflation Reduction Act to Help Close Longstanding Gaps in Vaccination Coverage in Medicare and Medicaid

Washington, D.C. (August 12, 2022) — The Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC) applauds the Senate and House of Representatives passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes key provisions that will close longstanding gaps in vaccination coverage in Medicare and Medicaid. We look forward to President Biden signing it into law.

Until today, some Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries were left to face high out-of-pocket costs for vaccinations. Beginning in 2023, the Inflation Reduction Law will provide free recommended vaccines, greatly improving access and utilization, by mandating:  

  • First dollar coverage (no copays or out of pocket expenses) of adult vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices under Medicare Part D; and,  
  • Access for adults to vaccines under Medicaid and CHIP by providing a federal baseline for first dollar coverage and an enhanced federal reimbursement for immunizing providers. 

Vaccines are vital to protecting and preserving the health and economic wellbeing of older adults, the chronically ill, and entire communities. Since AVAC launched in September 2015, our members have advocated for the elimination of out-of-pocket payments for vaccines, which stem from the Protecting Seniors Through Immunization Act and the HAPI Act. This will make vaccine coverage consistent with private insurance plans that cover recommended vaccines for children, adolescents, and adults with no cost sharing.

Every year, thousands of adults die and thousands more suffer serious health problems from vaccine-preventable diseases—due in part to the complicated and costly landscape faced by Medicare and Medicaid recipients when seeking access to vaccines. These inequities in vaccine coverage have hindered our nation’s disease prevention efforts and put millions of Americans needlessly at risk of becoming sick or dying from vaccine-preventable diseases.  

Health equity depends on vaccine access—and today’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act brings us another step closer. It’s an investment in the future health, wellbeing, and economic security of our seniors and those in marginalized communities. 

Thank you to our champions for the legislation on both sides of the aisle, and all those who made passage possible.