Does Medicare Cover Vaccinations?

Medicare Part B does cover preventive vaccinations that include getting flu shots, pneumonia shots and Hepatitis B shots.

Most Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans offer prescription drug coverage, including many commercially available vaccines that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn’t cover.

A doctor gives a vaccination to her patient

What vaccines are covered by Medicare?

The following chart shows how some common vaccines are covered by Medicare.

Vaccine Medicare coverage Medicare costs
Influenza (flu shots) -Part B You pay nothing for 1 flu shot per flu season if your doctor accepts Medicare assignment.
Pneumococcal (pneumonia) -Part B You pay nothing for 2 shots (the first at any time, the second at least one year after the first shot) if your doctor accepts Medicare assignment.
Hepatitis B -Part B You pay nothing if you’re at medium or high risk for Hepatitis B and your doctor accepts Medicare assignment.
Shingles (Shingrix) -Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans with drug coverage

-Part D
Coverage rules and costs vary by plan.
Tetanus (Tdap) -Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans with drug coverage

-Part D
Coverage rules and costs vary by plan.

These are only a few of the most commonly recommended vaccines. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have questions about a specific immunization or vaccine that is not listed here.

Medicare Part B also typically covers vaccines after you’ve potentially been exposed to a dangerous disease or virus. For example, your rabies shot may be covered by Medicare Part B if you are bitten by a dog.

Does Medicare pay for Tdap immunizations?

Medicare Part B does not typically cover Tdap, which is the adult booster shot for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).

Many Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans (MAPD) and standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDP) cover Tdap.

Does Medicare cover the Hepatitis B vaccine?

Medicare Part B will cover injection of the Hepatitis B vaccine if you are considered at medium or high risk for Hepatitis B.

You may have an increased risk if:

  • You have hemophilia
  • You have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
  • You have diabetes
  • You live with another person who has Hepatitis B
  • You work in health care and have frequent contact with blood and other bodily fluids

Your doctor can help you determine if you’re at increased risk for contracting Hepatitis B.

Medicare Advantage plans may cover more vaccines than Original Medicare

Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies as an alternative to Original Medicare.

Every Medicare Advantage plan must provide the same hospital and medical benefits as Medicare Part A and Part B, and most plans include Medicare prescription drug coverage.

MAPDs must help cover a number of commercially available vaccines that aren’t covered by Original Medicare when reasonably and medically necessary to prevent illness. However, specific rules of administration and 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, including what vaccinations may be covered.

Find Medicare Advantage plans in your area

Compare Plans

Or call TTY Users: 711 24/7 to speak with a licensed insurance agent.

Copyright © 2019 TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. All rights reserved.

MedicareAdvantage.com is a website owned and operated by TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. TZ Insurance Solutions LLC and TruBridge, Inc. represent Medicare Advantage Organizations and Prescription Drug Plans having Medicare contracts; enrollment in any plan depends upon contract renewal.

Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.