Biden-Harris Administration Makes 100% Federal Medicaid Matching Funds Available for State Expenditures on Certain COVID-19 Vaccine Counseling Visits for Children and Youth
The Biden-Harris Administration, through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, is now requiring states to cover COVID-19 vaccine counseling visits in which healthcare providers talk to families about the importance of kids’ vaccination. Medicaid provides health insurance coverage to over 40% of all children in the United States and are a significant source of coverage for Black and brown children. Today’s action will help expand access to individualized medical advice in all communities and give families the support they need to engage with trusted community providers.
“By supporting conversations between families and health care providers and answering parents’ questions, we can connect more children to effective vaccines,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “The Biden-Harris Administration is requiring states to cover vaccine counseling through Medicaid to create the space for children and parents to ask questions, get answers, and receive the information they need from trusted partners.”
CMS will now consider certain COVID-19 vaccine counseling visits for children and youth to be COVID-19 vaccine administration, for which state expenditures can be federally matched at 100% through the last day of the first quarter that begins one year after the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, under the American Rescue Plan (ARP). CMS will match COVID-19 vaccine counseling-only visits at the ARP 100% federal match rate only when they are provided to children and youth under age 21 as part of the Medicaid Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit.
Additionally, moving forward, CMS will require that states cover stand-alone vaccine counseling visits related to all pediatric vaccines under the EPSDT benefit. These state expenditures will be matched at the state’s regular federal medical assistance percentage.
Today’s action not only underscores the importance of vaccination education, but is also a critical step towards protecting families by increasing their access to information from providers as they make informed decisions concerning vaccinations for their children.