Fleming urges health insurers to support COVID-19 vaccination programs

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INDIANAPOLIS — State Representative Rita Fleming (D-Jeffersonville) urges health insurers to donate part of their profit to state and local health departments to support COVID-19 vaccination programs.

As Indiana rolls out its vaccination program, it faces several expenses: storing and properly refrigerating the vaccine, hiring qualified medical workers to administer the vaccine, providing personal protective equipment for those administering and those receiving the vaccine and providing public information about vaccination programs.

“We must all do our parts to support the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to overcome this pandemic,” Fleming said. “That includes Hoosiers, health experts, elected officials and health insurers. We see the light at the end of the tunnel now, but we still have work to do.”

While state and local government finances are strained, many health insurers have made a profit this year. UnitedHealth Group’s and Anthem Inc.’s net income increased by $3.3 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively, from the second quarter of 2019 to 2020

According to America Health Insurance Plans, the national organization of health insurers, many companies including UnitedHealth Group and Anthem Inc. are already contributing to pandemic relief efforts. Ultimately, health insurers are expected to benefit from supporting vaccination programs because insured individuals who have been vaccinated are expected to need less health care in the future.

“During this challenging time, we have witnessed people make the conscious decision to work together,” Fleming said. “This is another one of those opportunities, and I encourage everybody to participate.”

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