The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the creation of the Coverage Assistance Fund (CAF) on May 3. This program will use funds from the Provider Relief Fund to reimburse providers for the administration cost of COVID-19 vaccines not covered by insurance. The program will accept electronically submitted eligible claims dated on or after Dec. 14, 2020.
Providers participating in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program must administer the vaccines with no out-of-pocket cost-sharing. Though providers receive the vaccines at no cost, there are still costs associated with vaccine administration. The HHS announcement stated that the CAF will reimburse providers at national Medicare rates for the administration of the vaccines. This is a different program than the Health Resources and Services Administration’s COVID-19 Uninsured Program, which specifically reimburses providers for administration fees related to uninsured patients.
“On top of increasing reimbursement rates tied to administering the shots, we are closing the final payment gap that resulted as vaccines were administered to underinsured individuals. No healthcare provider should hesitate to deliver these critical vaccines to patients over reimbursement cost concerns,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, JD, said.
The HHS did not specify how much funding would be available for the program.