I like that my “vaccination passport” is yellow, to show that I am now immune to Yellow Fever. This is vaccine week at our house. Luckily we are up to date on the basics. And luckily for the kids who hate shots, Typhoid is oral. I just have to remember to give it to them every other morning. Unbeknownst to me, there is a national shortage of Yellow Fever vaccine happening right now. I called 18 different pharmacies, clinics, and doctor offices to find it. I knew I could go to one of the independent travel clinics, but I was trying to save a buck. After all of my searching, I ended up at a travel clinic spending a fortune. Of course, I first called my health insurance.
“Does my insurance cover Yellow Fever vaccine?”
“But I am covered for other health issues when I am out of the country, right?”
“Yes. For urgent or emergent care.”
“What does that mean, urgent or emergent? Is a UTI urgent? Or do I have to wait until it’s pyelonephritis, then it’s urgent?”
“If you need urgent or emergent care, you are covered.”
“So, if I get Yellow Fever because my insurance doesn’t cover the vaccine, you’ll cover that cost?”
“Well, you are responsible for paying out of pocket and then you submit a claim.”
“So if I have fulminant hepatic failure from the Yellow Fever and stay in the ICU and the bill is $10,000, I just have to submit the claim?”
“Yes. But you should make sure you get an itemized bill and all the medical records.”
So, to vaccinate and prophylax my family we are looking at $1,500 that is NOT covered by insurance. Kinda seems like a racket to me. I suppose it is still cheaper than actually getting the diseases–although with an itemized receipt at least that would be covered. Maybe.