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Ask the Experts Q & A

Q: I have a part-time staff member who needs the hepatitis B vaccine (HBV). We want to bill it through her insurance, but she is covered only through her husband's policy. We offered to pay any co-pays/deductibles, but she isn't thrilled about this option. Since she may not remain in our employ permanently, could we have her pay for the vaccine and reimburse her if she remains employed for at least six months?

A: Temporary and part-time employees who could be exposed to patient blood and body fluids must be offered the HBV free of charge. As long as the employee has no out of pocket costs, the hepatitis B vaccination may be charged to her insurance if you (her employer) provide the insurance. The use of a spouse's insurance plan is not considered "at no cost" to the employee. OSHA prohibits reimbursing employees for the vaccine contingent upon length of employment.

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