Medicare May Not Cover Costs of Coronavirus Vaccine: Report

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Millions of older Americans may not be able to receive a coronavirus vaccination for free unless the government acts.A vaccine approved for emergency use would not be covered by the program, which does not cover drugs approved through emergency authorizations, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

The administration recently realized that these people could face personal expenses for the vaccine, which the government intended to make free of charge, people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

The White House is considering asking Congress to change the wording of the CARES Act to ensure coverage, but there are reportedly concerns over whether this process will be completed on time.

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A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately return FOX Business’s request for comment.

Medicare covers people aged 65 and over and young people with disabilities.

Emergency use permissions are used to speed up the approval process. Whether such an authorization should be used has become a point of contention for a potential coronavirus vaccine, as safety and efficacy remain a priority.

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More than 60 million people are covered by Medicare, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

President Trump has said a vaccine could be available before the end of the year, potentially even in October.

AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna are in the final stages of clinical trials.

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