23

Vaccination Choices and Health Care Insurance Issues

posted on

There are three schools of thought when it comes to vaccinations. The first is to vaccinate according to the CDC schedule which is standard throughout the medical profession. The second school of thought is to vaccinate on an extended or delayed schedule. The difference between the two vaccination schedules means the difference between your child receiving over 20 shots in the first year of life or receiving the same amount of shots over the course of five years. The third school of thought is to not vaccinate at all. Currently, in the United States, all three schools of thought are legal and leave the vaccination schedule up to the parents.

Vaccination schedules in the United States are a choice left to the parent or parents of the child. Many doctors will work with the parents to allow the proper knowledge and discussion prior to the choice of vaccination. Unfortunately, though it is legal to choose to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, insurance companies may have a different view. For this reason it is important for parents and families to weigh the full options of not only the vaccination schedule, but also the pending financial and medical issues that may arise with their insurance provider.

There are several major medical insurance providers considering raising premiums for those parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. The reason is due to the increased exposure the child has to major illnesses such as whooping cough and measles. This increased exposure means long hospital stays, increased coverage options being utilized, and the companies paying out more to hospitals and doctors than normal. It is estimated that insurance companies pay out over 25% more for unvaccinated children than for children who are vaccinated according to a regular schedule. For this reason, increasing premiums only makes since for the insurance provider.

Major medical insurance companies are also looking at options that would disallow children from being added to policies if they do not have the proper vaccinations. This is a choice that is coming under fire with the new health care reform act proposals. However, some major medical companies feel that this is the best alternative. If a child does not have the proper vaccinations they are at a higher risk of contracting illnesses. That higher risk means costly doctors visits, hospital visits, and possible hospital stays. In the worst case scenarios this can mean the child develops an illness that may require long term care or affect their health in some permanent way. In order to avoid these issues, insurance companies feel denying the addition of the child until vaccinations have been obtained is the best business option.

The debate over vaccinations has been heated since the late 90s. It has become an increasing problem since the outbreak of whooping cough that caused infant and toddler deaths in late 2012. These deaths opened the eyes of many parents to the need for vaccinations while other parents saw the deaths as an epidemic caused by vaccinations. It has placed the insurance companies in a difficult situation that must reach a conclusion to help the company as well as the families.