UnitedHealthcare pays far less to administer COVID-19 shots to kids, pediatricians say

UnitedHealthcare is paying about half the rate that other insurers are for COVID-19 shots, which pediatricians fear could hinder vaccination rates.

Northbrook, Ill.-based PediaTrust is paid between $25 to $40 less per shot by UnitedHealthcare than it is paid by other insurers, according to Business Insider

The average insurer pays $40 per shot, matching what the government pays for Medicare recipients getting vaccinated. However, pediatricians around the country concurred that the insurer pays far less than the average rate.

PediaTrust anticipates a $250,000 loss  once children aged 12 and younger are eligible to be vaccinated, according to a PediaTrust physician. 

An American Academy of Pediatrics told Business Insider that the group has fielded concerns about UnitedHealthcare's rates from around the country, and the financial toll may affect vaccination rates down the road. 

"We are happy to review the data, work with the American Academy of Pediatrics and encourage pediatricians with a concern to reach out to us," a UnitedHealthcare spokesperson told Business Insider.

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