Does Medicare Cover Flu Shots?

Medicare Part B covers one flu shot per flu season, which typically runs from October to May each year. If your doctor accepts Medicare assignment, Medicare Part B covers the flu shot in full.

Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans also cover flu shots. Most Medicare Advantage plans also offer other benefits that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) don’t cover, such as additional vaccinations and prescription drugs.

A doctor gives her patient a flu shot

What do Medicare Advantage plans pay for flu shots?

Medicare Advantage plans cover 100 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for an annual flu shot during the fall or winter months.

This means that you will typically not have to pay a coinsurance or copayment for your flu shot, as long as you visit a doctor who accepts Medicare and the terms of your Medicare Advantage plan.

Some Medicare Advantage plans also cover some common vaccines that are NOT covered by Medicare Part B, such as:

  • Tdap shot (for tetanus)
  • Shingles vaccine (commonly called Shingrix)
  • Meningococcal vaccines

Coverage rules and costs for vaccinations like the ones above will vary by plan.

In addition to the standard hospital and medical benefits of Medicare Part A and Part B, most Medicare Advantage plans also include coverage for other benefits, such as:

Check with your health care provider if you have questions about a specific immunization or vaccine that is not listed here.

Does Medicare cover other vaccines?

Flu shots aren’t the only vaccines covered by Medicare.

Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage plans also cover preventive vaccines such as pneumonia shots (pneumococcal vaccine) and Hepatitis B shots. Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage plans may also cover vaccines such as rabies shots if they are considered medically necessary by a doctor.

Specific costs, including monthly premiums, deductibles and coinsurance will vary depending on the Medicare Advantage plan you enroll in.

A licensed insurance agent can help you compare Medicare Advantage plans in your area and get you enrolled in a plan that works for you.

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