Baker announces COVID vaccine payment updates, authorizes others to vaccinate

Updated vaccine payment rates will align with newly revised Medicare rates, effective April 1. To increase vaccine accessibility, the Department of Public Health issued an order to allow additional certain individuals to administer vaccines.

BOSTON – The administration of Gov. Charlie Baker announced, on March 26, updated vaccine payment rates to align with newly revised Medicare rates, effective April 1. The administration also announced an order of the Commissioner of Public Health authorizing additional individuals to administer vaccine in the state, Baker said in a written statement.

COVID-19 Vaccine Payment Rates

Effective April 1, the MassHealth rate of payment for vaccine administration will be $45.87, to align with the newly revised Medicare rates for the Boston region.

The Biden-Harris Administration had announced updates to the Medicare rate structure on March 15. Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to set Medicaid rates higher than Medicare for the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure payment would not be a barrier to vaccination. The newly released federal rates are nearly identical to the rates previously established in Massachusetts to better support broad-scale vaccination efforts.

In accordance with the Division of Insurance bulletin, commercial insurers must pay at least the MassHealth rate, if not more, for COVID-19 vaccines. 

By aligning with the federal rate and adopting the flat per-shot rate structure, all payers will pay a total of $91.74 for the two-shot Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, and $45.87 for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Additional Authorized Vaccinators

To increase vaccine accessibility across a wide range of providers, the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, on March 25, issued an order to allow additional certain individuals to administer COVID-19 vaccines in the state. These certain individuals include:

  • Podiatrists licensed pursuant to G.L. c. 112, § 16
  • Phlebotomists, which means persons whose responsibilities include, but are not limited to, collecting blood samples from patients under the supervision of a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant licensed in Massachusetts, separating blood into different test tubes in order for it to be used in medical tests, accurately labeling those tubes and ensuring correct samples are sent to the laboratory
  • Medical assistants who otherwise do not meet the requirements to administer vaccine pursuant to G.L. c. 112, § 265 and DPH guidance
  • Designated Massachusetts Military Division vaccinators, which means military personnel who are certified by the United States Army as Combat Lifesavers.

This COVID-19 Vaccinators chart lists the different groups of individuals who can possess and administer COVID-19 vaccines.