Parents: Don’t let costs keep you from getting your kids vaccinated! Vaccinations, also called shots, help keep you and your children healthy. They offer an easy way to protect you and your children from a number of serious diseases. If your child doesn’t have health insurance or your health insurance doesn’t pay for all shots, you may worry about the cost of getting your child vaccinated. But there are a few ways to get free or lower cost shots for children.
One program, called Minnesota Vaccines for Children (MnVFC), offers free or low cost shots for children who: are 18 years old and younger, and; don’t have health insurance, or; whose health insurance doesn’t cover the cost of all shots.
MnVFC will also cover the cost of shots: If your child’s health insurance only pays for shots up to a certain amount each year – this is called a “cap” – when you have reached the cap; or; if your child has health insurance that will only pay for shots after you have paid a certain amount each year (this is called an annual deductible).
If you don’t know if your insurance pays for shots, call and ask your insurance company. Their phone number should be on the back of your insurance card.
The MnVFC program also covers the cost of shots for all children who are American Indian or Alaskan Native, or who are on a Minnesota Healthcare Program such as Medical Assistance, Minnesota Care, or a Prepaid Medical Assistance Plan.
Almost all clinics in Minnesota that serve children are part of the Minnesota Vaccines for Children program. Ask your doctor’s office or clinic if they are part of MnVFC and if your child qualifies to have his or her vaccinations paid for by this program.
While the MnVFC program covers the cost of vaccines, you may be asked to pay the cost of giving the shot and the office visit.
In addition, some city or county health departments offer free or low cost vaccinations. Call a health department near you to find out more. And a number of community clinics in the Twin Cities provide medical services to uninsured and underinsured people on a sliding fee scale.
To find one in your area, call the Portico HealthNet community clinic referral line at 651-489-2273. They use a language line to help callers who don’t speak English.
Getting your kids vaccinated is an important and easy way to help keep them healthy. Don’t let costs get in the way.
This article was provided by the MDH Immunizations Program in collaboration with the MDH Refugee Health Program.