10 November 2009

Humana Military Encourages South Region TRICARE Beneficiaries to Get Their H1N1 Flu Vaccines

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Humana Military Healthcare Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), encourages TRICARE South Region beneficiaries to get their H1N1 influenza vaccinations in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus. Anticipating a greater need for the shots, the Department of Defense (DoD) is encouraging all military personnel to obtain the vaccines.

The DoD waived the deductible, cost shares and co-payments accompanied with acquiring this particular vaccine, therefore TRICARE Prime, Standard and Extra beneficiaries may get the vaccine from either a network or non-network provider. Prime enrollees may also obtain this shot without the referrals and authorizations normally required for immunizations. This temporary waiver is in effect from October 1, 2009 – May 1, 2010.

“We believe the H1N1 virus is on the minds of everyone this flu season,” said John Crum, MD, chief medical officer of Humana Military. “It is important our beneficiaries know the steps they need to take to acquire the vaccine and how to reduce the spread of the virus,” said Crum.

Tips for preventing the seasonal flu and H1N1 virus include:

* Washing your hands with soap and warm/hot water
* Using an alcohol-based sanitizer when hand washing is not possible
* Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
* Avoiding contact with your nose, eyes and mouth
* Avoiding contact with people who are sick
* Staying home if you have flu-like symptoms.

TRICARE covers the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s approved immunizations and vaccines according to age and frequency guidelines from birth through adulthood.

Along with getting vaccinations at a Primary Care Manager (PCM) office or Military Treatment Facility (MTF), the addition of select MinuteClinic locations to the Humana Military provider network offers beneficiaries a convenient alternative for preventive services, including the H1N1 shots. MinuteClinics are open seven-days-a-week and there is no appointment necessary. Active duty and reserve personnel should check with their MTF on where to receive their vaccinations.

The target population receiving priority in obtaining the H1N1 vaccine includes:

* Pregnant women
* People who live with or care for children younger than six months of age
* Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
* People between the ages of six months and 24 years
* People between the ages of 25 – 64 at higher risk for H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune system.

Beneficiaries should contact their provider ahead of time to find out if the vaccine is available. To find a provider near you, please visit Humana Military’s web-based provider locator at www.humana-military.com or call 1-800-444-5445.

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