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Last Updated: Oct 11, 2012 - 10:22:56 PM
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Aetna urges vaccination for members in high risk groups

Sep 29, 2005 - 9:14:00 PM
"Getting vaccinated is the most important step a member can take to improve their chances of avoiding the flu. If a member can’t get to their doctor’s office for the shot, then we hope they will receive a flu shot at one of the conveniently located Maxim flu clinics."

[RxPG] Aetna (NYSE: ΑET) today announced a convenient option for members to receive influenza vaccinations (flu shots) this season. Aetna has contracted with Maxim Health Systems to administer flu shots to Aetna members. Maxim Health Systems administers the flu shot to people over 9 years old at over 24,000 retail facilities and corporations across the nation using their own staff.

This broadened access is available to members in addition to the option of receiving the vaccination from their physician. As with visits to any healthcare provider, members should take their Aetna ID card with them when visiting a Maxim flu clinic.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for our members, especially those in the high risk groups for influenza, to get a flu shot this year," said Charles M. Cutler, M.D., Aetna’s national medical director for Quality Management. "Getting vaccinated is the most important step a member can take to improve their chances of avoiding the flu. If a member can’t get to their doctor’s office for the shot, then we hope they will receive a flu shot at one of the conveniently located Maxim flu clinics."

Publication: Aetna
On the web: www.findaflushot.com 

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 Additional information about the news article
About the Flu
Influenza is a serious health threat for adults over the age of 50 and children 6 - 23 months of age as well as for anyone 2 years and older with chronic conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, diabetes and chronic renal failure. Children under 9 years old who are in the high risk group should be vaccinated by their physician.

According to the CDC, on an annual basis, between 5 and 20 percent of the population gets the flu, more than 114,000 are hospitalized as a result of complications, and an average of 36,000 people die from influenza. For more information about influenza, visit the CDC web site at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/.

As one of the nation’s leading providers of health care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability and long-term care benefits, Aetna puts information and helpful resources to work for its approximately 14.435 million medical members, 12.976 million dental members, 9.117 million pharmacy members and 13.662 million group insurance members to help them make better informed decisions about their health care and protect their finances against health-related risks. Aetna provides easy access to cost-effective health care through a nationwide network of more than 684,000 health care professionals, including over 405,000 primary care and specialist doctors and 4,135 hospitals. For more information, please visit www.aetna.com. (Figures as of June 30, 2005)

2005 Vaccination Guidelines
Maxim flu clinics will begin on October 1, 2005. In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, Maxim will adhere to a two-tiered flu schedule for administering flu shots this year.

Before October 24, 2005, only those people categorized by the CDC as high risk for influenza will be offered flu shots. Individuals who are not considered high risk will not be able to get a flu shot until October 24, 2005.

The CDC defines those with an increased risk of developing influenza-related complications as:

* Persons 65 years of age or older
* Residents of long-term care facilities
* Persons 2 to 64 years of age with comorbid (more than one disease) conditions
* Children six to 23 months of age
* Pregnant women
* Healthcare personnel who provide direct patient care
* Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children under 6 months of age

Also, the CDC has issued interim vaccination recommendations for people who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Displaced individuals over 6 months old who are living in crowded group settings should receive the flu vaccine and displaced children who are over 8 years should be administered 2 doses, at least 1 month apart.

Bring Your Aetna Member ID Card / Cost Information
Maxim is not collecting fees at the flu shot clinics from Aetna members presenting their Aetna ID card. Maxim will first bill Aetna and will later bill the member for any amount not covered by the member’s plan. Most Aetna plans provide full coverage for flu vaccines, but members should consult their plan documents to determine their individual coverage, or call Member Services at the number on their Aetna ID Card. Maxim does not charge a copay. Members not presenting their Aetna ID cards will be asked to pay at the time the flu shot is given. Maxim is charging the public $25.00 for the flu shot.

Note: This excludes Maxim flu clinics held at Costco locations. Costco limits the availability of the flu shot to Costco members and does not accept insurance. However, they will accept Medicare.

Finding a Maxim Flu Clinic
There are two ways Aetna members can find the Maxim flu clinic nearest to them.

* Visit Maxim’s website at www.findaflushot.com and enter their zip code and the distance they want to travel, or
* Call Maxim’s automated locator system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll free at 1-866-466-2976 and enter their area code and the first digits of their telephone number. Information is available about the flu shots clinics in English or Spanish.
For any corrections of factual information, to contact the editors or to send any medical news or health news press releases, use feedback form

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