ISU Plan vaccine coverage extended to include pharmacies


Registered Nurse Kori Grooms administers a flu vaccine shot to kinesiology professor Tim Derrick at the employee flu shot clinic, which is staged in the Stephens Auditorium north lobby this year to allow for physical distancing. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

The ISU Plan prescription drug benefit now includes vaccines, which means employees and family members included on their health care insurance policy can receive a seasonal flu shot at a retail pharmacy.

Flu shots and other vaccines already were included under the medical portion of health care coverage but were excluded from the Express Scripts prescription drug plan. That meant that the only vaccinations administered in a doctor’s office or other clinical setting were covered by insurance, with the exception of the university-run flu shot clinic open only to ISU employees.

Extending vaccine coverage under the Express Scripts plan to in-network retail pharmacies, a change effective Sept. 1, provides an additional option that may be more convenient for some employees and their families. Vaccinations at a pharmacy will carry the same copayment as a preferred brand name drug, 30% of the cost with a $100 cap. A pharmacy can verify the cost of a vaccine before administering it.

Other than seasonal influenza, vaccines covered under the prescription plan include:

  • Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis
  • Hepatitis
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Shingles
  • Travel vaccines/bioterrorism (rabies, typhoid, yellow fever, anthrax, etc.)
  • Childhood immunizations (measles, mumps, rubella [MMR]; varicella, poliomyelitis, etc.)

Employees are encouraged to receive their flu shots at the university's flu shot clinic, which opened Sept. 21 and runs through Oct. 2. The clinic is in the north lobby of Stephens Auditorium and open weekdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Older employees or those at higher risk due to medical conditions may go to the clinic daily from 9-10 a.m. No appointments are necessary. Be sure to bring your nine-digit employee number. Cyclones Care behaviors are in effect at the clinic, and employees will have their temperature checked and answer a symptom survey upon check-in.