Frequently Asked Questions
The MVB carefully considers questions posed by providers, payers and others interested in its work. It responds to items of general interest from time to time via these FAQs on this website. These FAQs also guide MVB’s service provider in administering its assessment and vaccine funding work.
Federal Vaccines for Children (VFC)
FAQs for Providers
FAQs for Payers
Federally Funded Vaccines for Children
FAQ for Providers
P01. What is the Universal Childhood Immunization Program?
The Universal Childhood Immunization Program was established by
2009 Public Law 595 to provide all children from birth until 19 years of age in the State with access to a uniform set of vaccines as determined and periodically updated by the Maine Vaccine Board. Vaccine purchase is funded by an assessment on health insurance carriers and 3rd-party administrators registered under Title 24-A of the Maine Revised Statutes.
P05. What will be the main changes to my office?
The Maine Immunization Program will operate much the same as it currently does. Availability of state supplied vaccines will be expanded to all children and more vaccine choices will be available. Vaccine ordering and accountability processes are expected to remain relatively the same. All providers who receive state supplied vaccine will be required to use the ImmPact2 Immunization Information System for ordering and vaccine accounting.
P06. What are the benefits to my office?
Receive state supplied vaccine at no cost for all children in your practice.
Maintain continuity of care: All of your patients receive immunizations in their medical home.
-Fewer missed opportunities: Children won’t miss immunizations due to being referred elsewhere.
-Knowing if a child is up-to-date for immunizations when treating them for other illnesses.
-No need for up-front purchase of childhood vaccines.
-No need to keep two separate inventories of vaccine for VFC Children and privately insured children.
-Access valuable public health resources for your practice:
-More combination vaccines will be available through this program:
- Staff training.
- Technical assistance on vaccine and immunization issues.
- Best practices in vaccine storage and handling:
- Inventory management, temperature monitoring, and vaccine ordering.
- Information about new vaccines, schedules, and vaccine supply issues.
- Help measuring, promoting and achieving high immunization coverage rates for your practice.
- Fewer needle sticks will be needed to fully vaccinate a child.
- Acceptance of more scheduled vaccines can be achieved.
- Rates can be improved with the effective use of combination vaccines.
P07. How will this program affect patients?
Vaccines will be available for ALL CDC/ACIP recommended diseases. Vaccines that are approved by the Maine Vaccine Board will be available for all children from birth until age 19 through physicians and other healthcare providers. Patients will not be charged for the cost of the vaccine. Therefore, financial barriers, (e.g. high insurance deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses), will no longer be an obstacle for children to receive vaccine. This is one of the best ways to improve immunization rates and keep kids healthy.
P08. What will providers have to do differently?
All providers will be required to use the Maine Immunization Information System (ImmPact2) to order vaccine and report doses administered either on a per patient basis or aggregate each month.
P09. How can I participate?
If your practice is already enrolled as a Maine Immunization Program provider, you do not need to do anything to enroll in the Program right now. Medical providers who are not currently enrolled as Maine Immunization Program Providers can enroll now in order to prepare for the start of the Program. Contact the Maine Immunization Program for details about enrolling. Find information about the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/providers/questions
Office Procedure Questions
Vaccine Purchasing Questions
P13. What vaccines are covered by the Universal Childhood Immunization Program?
Routinely recommended and approved vaccines for children from birth until age 19 will be available at no cost to physicians and other providers. The Vaccine Board will determine the list of vaccines to be made available. For a list of vaccines and presentations that will initially be available, visit the Maine Vaccine Board website here.
P16. Will the state still be selecting the vaccines available, or will we have a choice?
As directed by statute, the Maine Vaccine Board determines the list of vaccines to be made available by the Program and will review the selection annually. This vaccine selection is done through the APA rulemaking process and public input is welcome. You can submit questions or input to firstname.lastname@example.org. For the list of vaccines that will be offered initially, please visit the website here.
P18. Will vaccines be allocated?
Not typically. If there is a national shortage or a vaccine is received in multiple shipments (like seasonal childhood influenza vaccine), those vaccines will be allocated. Vaccine orders will continue to be monitored based on past usage and inventory to ensure that physicians and other healthcare providers have no more than 45 days of inventory at any given time. The goal is to make sure physicians and other healthcare providers have enough vaccine to vaccinate children when they are in the office.
P19. What if a vaccine is in shortage or not available through the universal program?
In a bona fide shortage situation, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention makes vaccine available to states through an allocation process. Shortages mean limited supplies may be available, but the Maine CDC will make as much vaccine available as possible. In addition, the Maine Vaccine Board has the authority to make temporary adjustments to the vaccine list to accommodate supply variations.
FAQs for Payers
A01. Are carriers the only ones paying for Maine Vaccines?
No. Most self-insured employers, HMOs, TPAs and others subject to Title 24-A are subject to assessment. Substantial portions of the total cost are paid by the federal government. Additionally, by returning to universal childhood immunization, Maine receives the largest discount available from the pharmaceutical industry. No State of Maine general funds go to pay for childhood vaccinations for privately-covered children. Similarly no assessments are to be applied for vaccine purchases by Maine for children not covered by the assessments. A new Childhood Immunization Fund held in Trust by the Maine Treasurer of State assures that funds are properly used.
A02. How are an entity’s assessments determined?
Assessments are based upon the estimated vaccine costs, program expenses and the number of covered lives reported by the entity to the MVB. Payers are required to accurately report the number of covered lives of children each quarter. Children are covered until age 19. The assessment is intended to cover the costs of the program for the fiscal year and fund some modest reserves. Any excess funds will be applied to reduce next year’s assessments.
A05. Where do I go to complete the online assessment?
To access the online assessment, please click here. If you are a first time user you must register first here. Please note: due to security features of the system, it may take up to 30 minutes after a new account is created before it can be accessed for data entry. This delay occurs only at the initial creation of the account.
A07. How often do I have to report?
Quarterly. Within 45 days of each July 1, October 1, January 1, and April 1, payers must pay the assessment for the preceding quarter. Accordingly, a quarterly report and payment is due on or before each August 15, November 15, February 15 and May 15 of each fiscal year. The new MVB fiscal year begins each July 1.
A18. What if I am late?
Please go ahead and prepare your report ASAP. Then include the interest in the remittance at a rate of 12% per annum for each day from the due date to the date your check is mailed.