The following is a statement from the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC), regarding the adult vaccine provisions of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 2017 Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Payment Policies and Final Call Letter
“The Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC) applauds the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for once again recommending that Part D plans offer covered vaccines to all beneficiaries at no or low-cost. No American should be denied access to life-saving vaccines because they lack the ability to pay.
Adult immunization receives scant attention but has significant health and financial repercussions. Every year, more than 50,000 adults in the United States die from vaccine preventable diseases and thousands more suffer serious health problems that recommended vaccines can prevent—particularly among minority populations for whom immunizations rates are typically far lower than average. Vaccine preventable diseases also cost the United States billions of dollars each year in entirely avoidable healthcare expenditures, lost wages and other indirect economic costs.
As a diverse coalition of health care providers, vaccine manufacturers, pharmacies, and public health, patient, and consumer groups, AVAC is committed to improving Americans’ health by ensuring that recommended vaccines reach more people who need them. We strongly urge all Part D plans to follow CMS’s recommendations and make all covered vaccines available to all beneficiaries free of charge.”