States are opening up eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to more people and President Joe Biden earlier this week said every adult American will be eligible for the vaccine by April 19.
As more people prepare to get the vaccine, claims on social media are circulating about barriers to receiving the vaccine. Some people are confused about whether there are fees to get the shot, whether they must provide a Social Security number or proof of insurance, and whether immigrants can receive the vaccine. The VERIFY team looked into those claims.
Do you have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine?
“The COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge for everyone,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says on its website. “No one will receive a bill for a COVID-19 vaccine.”
People should not pay for a doctor’s visit if they’re only there to get the vaccine, according to the CDC. People also should not pay a co-pay or other fees if they are uninsured or underinsured.
People also are not responsible for administrative fees. Instead, pharmacies, doctor’s offices and others providing vaccinations can bill private insurers or, for the uninsured, the federal government.
Do people have to provide a Social Security number or proof of insurance to receive a vaccine?
No, people are not required to provide either a Social Security number or proof of insurance to get a COVID-19 vaccine. And in most cases, people are not required to show an ID, such as a driver’s license.
Mike DeAngelis, senior director of corporate communications for CVS Health, says the Health Resources and Services Administration, the federal agency that handles access to care for the uninsured, requires vaccinators “to ask the patient to provide either a Social Security number or driver’s license/state ID number.”
“However, uninsured patients are not required to provide this information in order to receive a vaccine from us,” DeAngelis said. “It is against our policy to deny the COVID-19 vaccine to a patient with a confirmed appointment who is unable or unwilling to provide identification.”
At Walgreens, a corporate spokesman said, patients “must sign an affidavit confirming they meet their state’s eligibility requirement for the vaccine. Patients also need to show a valid government ID to confirm their identity at the time of their vaccination appointment.”
The purpose of showing ID is to make sure that the person receiving the shot is actually the person with the appointment, Walgreens said. But that doesn’t mean you are always required to provide an ID.
“Unless specifically required by a jurisdiction, we will not turn away individuals who do not produce an ID,” the spokesman said.
Can noncitizens, including immigrants who entered the country illegally or those who don’t have a Social Security number, receive the vaccine?
Yes. The CDC says that people can receive a COVID-19 vaccine “regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.” The Department of Homeland Security calls vaccinating all people living in the United States “a moral and public health imperative.”
The Kaiser Family Foundation says vaccinating the nearly 22 million noncitizens living in the U.S. is important to achieve “broad population immunity.”
Are you searching for a COVID-19 vaccine in your state? Visit the CDC’s resource page on vaccinations here.
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