IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

COVID-19 vaccines are free to all, experts stress

The coronavirus vaccines are being offered free of charge, even if you are asked for insurance information.
Illustration of vaccine with a sticker that reads "free"
As of April 19, anyone over the age of 16 is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.TODAY Illustration / Shutterstock

Since the beginning of the coronavirus vaccine rollout, the vaccines have been offered free of charge: People who receive a shot do not pay anything at any point.

However, a survey from the U.S. Census Bureau found that as of early March nearly 7 million Americans were mistakenly "concerned about the cost" of the coronavirus vaccines, making it one of the more common reasons people were not planning to get vaccinated.

Vaccine awareness campaigns have highlighted that there is no fee or charge associated with vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted in a list of frequently asked questions that the vaccine is "free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status."

As of April 19, anyone in the United States over the age of 16 is eligible to be vaccinated, with trials underway in younger children.

"The vaccine is being offered for free in order to encourage the community to take the vaccine and remove any financial impediment," Dr. Gerard Brogan, chief revenue officer for Northwell Health and professor of emergency medicine at Zucker School of Medicine in New York, said. "... There is no patient responsibility for this vaccine, whether you have insurance or not."

In addition to not being charged for the vaccine, people cannot be charged "directly for any administration fees, copays or coinsurance" or charged an "office visit or other fee" if the patient only receives a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC. Medical providers also cannot "require additional services" for a person to receive a coronavirus vaccine or "deny vaccination to anyone who does not have health insurance coverage, is underinsured, or is out-of-network."

Brogan said that insurance information is collected because health care providers can seek reimbursement from an insurance plan or program for a "vaccine administration fee," but that will not lead to a charge for the patient. If you do provide insurance, you will not be charged any portion of the bill.

"Whether you have insurance or not, there will be no patient billing at any point for any part of the vaccine administration," Brogan said.

Brogan said that some people may receive an "explanation of benefits" note from their insurance if they provide that information. That document will show what was charged and what the company paid.

"This is a standard form that we've all seen patients get from their insurance company ... but there will be no patient responsibility of any type, whether it be a deductible, a copay, or coinsurance. Zero," Brogan said.

There is also no cost associated with making a vaccine appointment. As the rollout continues, vaccine scams have popped up around the country, asking people to pay to have a vaccine appointment booked.

Nenette Day, an assistant special agent in charge with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told TODAY in late March that there is "no legitimate process that requires you to pay for the vaccine or to pay for a spot in order to get the vaccine."

Day continued that no one should ever share payment information or other personal data while booking their vaccine appointments.

"You should never be entering your credit card, that's the very first thing. You shouldn't be ever entering things like 'What's your mother's maiden name,' those types of security question information. And you shouldn't be giving your Social Security account number, either."

If you have questions about being vaccinated, contact your health care provider or local health department. NBC News also has a tool called Plan Your Vaccine to help every American sign up for COVID-19 vaccine alerts and stay up to date on vaccine news.