A tight state budget that starts July 1 may change the price of childhood vaccinations for some families. Idaho has provided vaccinations for all children since 1994, but now families with health insurance that covers immunizations will be billed for childhood vaccinations.
The state will continue to provide vaccinations for children:
- With no health insurance
- Health insurance that doesn't cover vaccines or
- Who are Alaska Native or Native American.
Families with children eligible for vaccines through the state will continue to pay a small amount to cover the cost of supplies, vaccine storage and nursing time.
Idaho's Legislature cut $2.8 million from its immunization budget for the 2010 state budget, making state-supplied vaccines for all children impossible.
"Vaccinations are still one of the single most effective disease prevention measures in the history of public health," said Mareva Kammeyer, who coordinates PHD's immunization program. "This change may mean more out-of-pocket expense for some families, but it's to keep their children healthy and free from vaccine-preventable diseases."
Vaccines have eliminated smallpox, polio and diphtheria in the United States and have nearly eliminated measles, mumps, tetanus and whooping cough.
Families with health insurance should check their coverage, deductibles and co-pays before taking their children for vaccinations. Health care providers will need insurance information for billing.
Idaho saves children's immunization records in a registry called IRIS. Families can enroll their children in the free immunization registry at the Panhandle Health District or at their doctor's office. IRIS helps families stay current on their children's needed immunizations and provides families with accurate records.
Appointments for immunizations at PHD offices are available in:
- Benewah County - 245-4556
- Bonner County - 263-5159
- Boundary County - 267-5558
- Kootenai County - 415-5270
- Shoshone County - 786-7474
PHD recommends that families call ahead to find out the administration fee for the number of vaccinations needed or the cost they will pay under their health insurance plan.