(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Starting July 1st, low-cost vaccinations will not be offered by county health departments in Indiana to children who are covered by health insurance.
The Indiana State Department of Health changed the policy because there wasn't enough money to cover the costs of the shots. Only the most needy and uninsured will be able to receive the discount immunizations.
Under the new policy, doctors will no longer be able to refer insured patients to county health departments for their vaccine shots.
"It's one thing to expend everything that you're provided for the cause of the public," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Gregory N. Larkin told the Indianapolis Star. "It's another thing to expend public health dollars unnecessarily for an insured population and you run out for everyone. ... If we don't have the funds, we won't be able to provide the immunizations."
Some worry that people with high deductible health plans will skip the vaccinations due to the policy, as it can cost some as much as $600 out of pocket for the shots before a child starts kindergarten.
In the past, those parents could take their children to the county and pay a small fraction of the cost.