Florida seniors rely on vaccines to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and live full and healthy lives. However, vaccines under Medicare Part D, a federal health insurance for people over the age of 65, increasingly have cost-sharing burdens associated with them, which leaves many Part D beneficiaries unable to afford their vaccinations. This often forces them to choose between their health and financial well-being.

A new Galen Institute report that analyzes the Medicare vaccine policy notes that seniors are generally more susceptible to severe illness from vaccine-preventable diseases. Eliminating cost sharing would increase immunization rates, thereby diminishing the risk of serious disease among beneficiaries and reducing the amount the program spends to treat preventable diseases.

Florida’s members of Congress should prioritize Floridian seniors and support legislation that eliminates the cost-sharing burden for Medicare Part D vaccines. Supporting the Protecting Seniors Through Immunization Act will improve access to health care and take Florida one step closer to creating an equitable health system.