Many large health insurance providers cover Gardasil, but that varies among different providers and policies. Most that offer coverage for Gardasil only do so for females age 9 to 26, the age group for which the vaccine is FDA-approved. There is no current legislation that requires insurance providers to cover the costs of the vaccine. Once you obtain health insurance, you can always call your insurance provider to determine if it covers the vaccine. Your doctor's front office staff may be able to tell if your provider covers the cost, as well.
How to Get Help Paying for GardasilThere are several ways you can get the HPV vaccine for free or at a reduced cost.
Merck Vaccine Patience Assistance Program:
Merck offers a vaccine assistance program to women who want to get Gardasil but cannot afford it. To qualify for the program, women must:
be at least 19 years of age
reside in the United States, although you don't have to be a U.S. citizen
- have an annual income less than $20,800 for individuals, $28,000 for couples or $42,400 for a family of four
Merck does take special circumstances into account and often makes exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Do not let the income qualifications deter you from applying. You may still be approved based on your specific situation.
Applying for the Merck Vaccine Patient Assistance Program is easy. Simply visit the Merck website and download and print the application. Return the completed application to your doctor's office. Your doctor's office will submit the application to Merck, who will notify the office of a decision the same day. It is important to note that the application must be completed and approved by Merck prior to getting the vaccination.
Vaccines for Children Program: The Vaccines for Children Program is perfect for young women who are 18 years and younger and want to get vaccinated but cannot afford the vaccine. To qualify for the federal program, young women must be:
18 years or younger
qualify for Medicaid
- be uninsured or have insurance that does not cover Gardasil
Every state participates in the Vaccine for Children Program. More than 50,000 doctors and medical clinics nationwide are VCP providers. To find a provider in your area, call your local health department or visit the Vaccines for Children website. Each state's health department governs the program and will be able to provide you with information.
It is important to note that even though you may be able to get Gardasil for free under the Vaccine for Children Program, the participating doctor may charge you for an office visit. If you are on Medicaid, this fee will be covered, but if you are not covered by Medicaid, you will be responsible for the visit payment. Not all doctors charge a fee, but you may want to ask prior to your appointment.
More Ways to Get Assistance Paying for Gardasil
If you don't qualify for Merck's vaccine program or for Vaccines for Children, there is still hope! Here are some other ways you can get help paying for Gardasil:
Planned Parenthood: Federal, state and private grants have allowed many Planned Parenthood offices around the United States to offer Gardasil for free or at a reduced cost. Try calling your local Planned Parenthood for more information.
College or University Medical Clinic: Many large colleges and universities provide Gardasil to students at their medical clinics. Check your campus clinic for more information.
Local Health Department Call your local health department to learn about other local clinics that may offer free or reduced-cost Gardasil vaccinations. Your local health department may even be able to offer you the vaccine, even if you do not qualify for the Vaccines for Children Program. It depends on what grants and funds your state receives from the government and other private organizations.
Source: "Sexually Transmitted Diseases." HPV and HPV Vaccine - Information for Healthcare Providers. Aug 2006. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.