The Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. VFC is a required part of each state's Medicaid plan.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention buys vaccines at a discount and distributes them to grantees-i.e., state health departments and certain local and territorial public health agencies-which in turn distribute them at no charge to those private physicians' offices and public health clinics registered as VFC providers. There are 22 VFC providers in Muskegon County.
Children through 18 years of age who meet at least one of the following criteria are eligible to receive VFC vaccine:
Medicaid eligible: A child who is eligible for the Medicaid program
Uninsured: A child who has no health insurance coverage
American Indian or Alaska Native
Underinsured: A child who has commercial (private) health insurance but the coverage does not include vaccines, a child whose insurance covers only selected vaccines (VFC-eligible for non-covered vaccines only), or a child whose insurance caps vaccine coverage at a certain amount. Once that coverage amount is reached, the child is categorized as underinsured
Children whose health insurance covers the cost of vaccinations are not eligible for VFC vaccines, even when a claim for the cost of the vaccine and its administration would be denied for payment by the insurance carrier because the plan's deductible had not been met.