Children’s Health Insurance may cover cost of flu shots

Children's Health Insurance may cover cost of flu shots With this year's flu season underway, federal health officials are encouraging parents to get a flu shot for their young children. The Children's Health Insurance Program could help more kids receive the vaccine and reduce the risk of infection.

Officials, for the first time, are labeling 6 to 23 month-old children as part of the at-risk group saying young children are as likely to be hospitalized for the influenza virus as the traditional high-risk elderly group.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added babies and toddlers to the early flu shot recommendation list because of increasingly high hospitalization rates and potential for wide-spread infections in school and daycare settings.

According to the State Department of Health, influenza and pneumonia combined killed 186 people last year in South Dakota alone ��about 300,000 deaths nationally.

Children's flu shots may be covered under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). South Dakota children under the age of 19 may be eligible to get free health insurance under the program even if they have other insurance.

Services include coverage of the flu shot for eligible kids as well as doctor and nurse visits, hospital and emergency care, prescriptions, immunizations, eyeglasses and hearing aids, dental visits and more.

To learn more about CHIP or to apply call 1-800-305-3064 or contact your county Social Services office.

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