Travel Vaccinations

Did you know that 80% of the U.S health insurance companies do not cover travel vaccinations???
Also, travel clinics usually charge over $200 per person (not family) to review medical records and tell you what vaccines you might need for international travel.

$1,000 for this review was not in our budget.

I used CDC website to cross reference their recommendations with our itinerary and created our travel vaccine schedule for our family. My plan was reviewed (and given 2 thumbs up) by a travel consultant from a pharmacy in town that administers all these vaccines (Katterman’s Sand Point Pharmacy).
Our GP couldn’t give us most of these vaccines. Our choices were: this one pharmacy, UW travel clinic or Dept of Health.
Pedja and I got 7 vaccines (4 of them were multiples over 2-3 months) and kids got 5 (also over 2-3 months).
Here we are back in October, filling out almost two hours worth of paperwork to get set up to get all of those vaccines. Without insurance, this would have been $11,000 bill.
Read that again ELEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. US healthcare costs are (not surprisingly) outrages (but that’s another topic for another day).
We were super lucky that our insurance was in that 20% that covered travel vaccinations (until December so we had to make sure we finished them all by then). Tight budget, CDC website, spreadsheet and a strict family schedule and we got it all done for $400.

Planning for this trip required covering tons of these details, each one extensive in its own way. I’ll sprinkle some of these learnings throughout this week until I get my act together to post something current from Buenos Aires.

P.S. Here is the list of vaccines that we got. Pedja and I decided to repeat our Hep A and B (2-3x). We couldn’t find records that we had them before. The rest of the vaccines were the same for all 5 of us: yellow fever (2x), cholera, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, rabies (3x) . None of us had any reactions to them (Pedja’s arm got itchy after yellow fever but that’s about it).