The Idaho Senate unanimously approved legislation Thursday setting up a universal pool of vaccines for children that will be funded by insurance companies. The new pool comes after a decision last year to end state funding for vaccines that led to what Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, called unintended consequences. The move required doctors to have two separate stocks of immunizations, one for children with insurance and one for uninsured children.
"The result was not only devastating to physicians, but to insured parents," Cameron said. The cost of vaccines increased for some, due to federal rules and some physicians having to buy their own vaccines. The new universal pool should result in lower vaccine prices.
Health insurance companies support the new assessments on them. A new panel, the Idaho Immunization Board, will oversee those assessments. Three of the nine members of the board will represent insurance carriers. "This was a hard fought-out compromise process," Cameron said about the new assessment-funded pool. There is a three-year sunset on the new plan, which Cameron said will allow for a review of the system.