- Doctors & Providers
- Procedures, Services, & Equipment
- Dental, Vision, & Hearing
- Coverage FAQ
Does Medicare Cover Flu Shots?
Medicare Part B, one of the two parts of Original Medicare, covers 100% of the costs of seasonal flu shots once a year during the fall or winter. The Part B deductible does not apply to this service, so Medicare covers the shot as long as you are eligible for and enrolled in Original Medicare. As long as your doctor or healthcare provider accepts Medicare assignment, flu shots are fully covered. Providers may not charge you more than the Medicare approved amount. If you receive the shot from a provider that does not accept assignment, then you may be responsible for additional fees for the doctor’s services but not for the shot itself.
Which Medicare Services Cover Flu Shots
Are flu shots covered by medicare part a .
Flu shots are covered under Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage, so long as your provider or pharmacy is one that accepts Medicare payment.
Because Medicare Advantage plans must offer at least the same coverage as Original Medicare, your Medicare Advantage plan also covers flu shots once a flu season. Private health plans may not require that you get a referral to receive the flu shot, but they may require that you receive the shot within your plan’s network of providers. Like Original Medicare coverage , Medicare Advantage plans cover the full cost of the flu shot. Overall out-of-pocket costs such as premiums and deductibles may vary for these plans, but the deductible does not apply in this situation, if the plan has one.
Things to Know
It is best not to delay receiving your annual flu shot. Getting your shot ahead of flu season may help to keep you protected from the very contagious virus. Here are some important things to keep in mind regarding the flu shot:
- Flu vaccine season starts August 1 and ends July 31 of the following year
- CDC recommends annual flu shots for everyone 6 months and older by the end of October of each year
- People 65 and older are at high risk of serious health issues due to flu complications
- Some patients may require 2 flu shots based on the doctor’s recommendation. Medicare will cover both shots
What is the difference between the regular flu shot and the senior flu shot?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine contains four times the antigen as standard dose flu vaccines. This four-component flu vaccine is one of three influenza vaccines (along with Flublok Quadrivalent and Fluad Quadrivalent) that is preferentially recommended for people 65 years and older. This preferential recommendation is new for the 2022-2023 season.
- Are flu shots free if you have Medicare? Yes, under Medicare Part B an annual flu shot will be covered.
- Are flu shots covered by Medicare Part A? No, Medicare Part B covers the seasonal flu shot.
- How often can you get a flu shot with Medicare?
- Does Medicare cover flu shots at CVS? Yes, CVS accepts Medicare coverage for flu shots.
- Does Medicare cover over 65 flu shots? Yes, under Original Medicare there is no cost for the flu shot.
- What is the Medicare approved amount for a flu shot coverage? Medicare can cover the cost of flu shots from anywhere from $0 to $40.
- Does Medicare cover flu shots at Walgreens? Yes, Walgreens accepts Medicare for flu shots.
- Does Medicare cover flu shots at pharmacies? Depending on which pharmacy you go to, Medicare may cover the cost of a flu shot. It is best to call ahead and ask before going.
This website and its contents are for informational purposes only. Nothing on the website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.
Medicare information is everywhere. What is hard is knowing which information to trust. Because eHealth’s Medicare related content is compliant with CMS regulations, you can rest assured you’re getting accurate information so you can make the right decisions for your coverage. Read more to learn about our Compliance Program.
Call to speak with a licensed insurance agent now.
Do it yourself!
Enter your ZIP Code and in a flash see your plan options.
Your ZIP Code allows us to filter for Medicare plans in your area.
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.
Download The FREE Medicare Guide
Does Medicare Cover Flu Shots At CVS ?
by Gareth Williams
The flu vaccine is even more important for our elderly loved ones in this the year of the coronavirus pandemic. Do make sure that your loved ones get vaccinated, as flu alone can be deadly, and it will help slow down community spread to other elderly and vulnerable persons.
Medicare Part B covers a flu shot at CVS, and t here is no deductible or coinsurance to pay. CVS is Medicare-enrolled and accepts assignment, meaning you will have nothing to pay. CVS should bill Medicare directly. Medicare covers one flu shot per flu season only.
Contents Overview & Quicklinks
Which flu vaccines is CVS offering ?
How do I arrange my flu shot at CVS ?
What do flu vaccines cost at cvs without insurance , why are flu shots so important for the elderly , what types of flu vaccine are there , does medicare pay for the quadrivalent flu vaccine , what other vaccines does cvs offer .
Does Medicare cover flu shots at Costco ?
Which flu vaccines is Costco offering ?
How do i organize my flu shot at costco , what do flu vaccines cost at costco without insurance , does medicare pay for flu shots at a pharmacy , does medicare pay for flu shots at walgreens , walgreens in-store flu shots, how to arrange your flu shot at walgreens , without insurance, how much is a flu shot at walgreens , does medicare cover flu shots at walmart , walmart in-store flu shots, how to arrange your flu shot at walmart , how much is a walmart flu vaccine without insurance , does medicare cover flu shots at rite aid .
Flu shots at Rite Aid
How to organize your flu shot at Rite Aid ?
What does a flu vaccine at rite aid cost without insurance , ship – free advice with medicare and medicaid, which flu vaccines are cvs and minuteclinic offering .
CVS and MinuteClinic offer the following Influenza Vaccines –
- Quadrivalent flu vaccine
- Fluzone High-Dose for the 65’s and older
To sort out your vaccination at CVS or MinuteClinic you need to –
- locate a CVS pharmacy or a minute Clinic near you
- digitally provide necessary information and consent beforehand if booking online
- book an appointment online
- walk into a CVS or MinuteClinic for a flu shot without an appointment
Locate a CVS pharmacy near you
You can use the CVS store locator on their website to find a CVS near to you.
Visit the CVS website here to use their store locator tool – it is in the main navigation menu.
To locate a MinuteClinic near you, you can use the locator too on the website here .
Schedule a flu shot appointment online
To make an appointment for a flu shot at a CVS pharmacy near you online, you can go to their website and make an online reservation here.
You can also just use the CVS mobile app to book an appointment – you can find the CVS app on their website here .
You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and consent form for screening prior to getting your appointment, and to provide your insurance information.
If you do this, it will speed up your visit.
To book an appointment at a MinuteClinic go to their website to book an appointment here . You will see the link to book a flu shot in the center of the page.
Walk in flu shots at CVS Pharmacies ?
Walk-in appointments are welcome at both the CVS pharmacies and at the MinuteClinics
At the MinuteClinic when you enter you will be screened to make sure you do not have Covid-19 and then after you have booked your appointment, you will have to wait elsewhere, until you receive a text on your phone telling you that your appointment is next, and you may go into the clinic.
The reason for this being that MinuteClinics have eliminated waiting rooms due to Covid-19.
If you don’t have insurance, flu shots at CVS cost –
- Seasonal flu vaccine -$31.99
- Fluzone high-dose flu vaccine for seniors – $51.99
Those individuals at who are at the greatest risk from catching the flu are –
- children less than 5 yrs old
- individuals suffering from certain existing health conditions
90% of all “flu-related deaths” and 60% of “flu-related hospital stays” in the United States are people over 65 years old.
To prevent and protect against this, getting a flu shot done each year is one of the best measures available.
Flu shots are available in both a regular strength doses, and in a high strength dose which is usually recommended for the elderly.
The source for the information above is: NCOA Center for Benefits Access – “Vaccines: What Medicare pays for” which you can read here .
As an elderly person ages, they become increasingly likely to catch the flu if they come into in contact with the influenza virus.
Compounding this is the fact that, the older an individual is, the greater the chance that they may go on to develop a serious complication, such as pneumonia, from the flu virus.
If the person has underlying health conditions, they can put a person at increased risk of even greater complications from flu the flu virus.
Underlying conditions which can put a person at greater risk from the flu virus include –
- heart disease
- asthma or COPD
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- a compromised immune system
Of course, not just the elderly should be getting a flu shot, their caregivers also need to, if they are to have some hope of not spreading it to the elderly adults that they are looking after.
Standard types of influenza vaccines available to adults are –
- Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine
- High-Dose Flu Vaccine
- Intradermal Influenza Vaccine
- Adjuvanted Vaccine
- Cell-based Flu Vaccine
- Recombinant Flu Vaccines
- Nasal Spray Vaccine
For the over 65’s, the recommended Influenza Vaccines are –
The source for this section is the Centers for Disease and Prevention website here .
If you are enrolled in Medicare Part B, your Quadrivalent influenza vaccines will be paid for by Medicare, so long as you use a Medicare-enrolled provider who accepts assignment.
These are the influenza quadrivalent vaccines covered by Medicare Part B for the 2020 -2021 flu season, taken from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- Fluad Quadrivalent
- Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent
- Flucevax Quadrivalent
- FluMist Quadrivalent
- Flubok Quadrivalent
- Fluzone Quadrivalent
- Afluria Quadrivalent
- Fluarix Quadrivalent
- Flulaval Quadrivalent
You can find the original document here on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website.
Other vaccines which are available at CVS –
- Cholera vaccine
- Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis vaccine
- Hepatitis A vaccine
- Hepatitis B vaccine
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
- Japanese encephalitis vaccine
- Measles, mumps, rubella, (MMR) vaccine
- Meningococcal (meningitis) vaccine
- Pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine
- Polio vaccine
- Rabies Vaccine
- Typhoid vaccine
- Zoster (shingles) vaccine
- Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine
To find out more you can take a look at the CVS page on vaccinations on their website here .
Does Medicare cover Flu shots at Costco
Medicare Part B covers a flu shot at Costco with no deductible or coinsurance to pay.
Costco is Medicare-enrolled and accepts assignment, meaning you will have nothing to pay. Costco will typically bill Medicare directly.
The following Influenza Vaccines are offered at –
- Afluria – Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine
- Flucelvax – Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine
- Fluad – High Dose Influenza Vaccine for seniors
To get a flu shot organized at Costco, you need to –
- locate nearby Costco pharmacy
- download your Immunization Consent Form to speed things up
- or walk in to Costco and ask for a flu shot
Find a Costco pharmacy near you
Costco has a store locator on their website to find a store near to you.
Go here to use the Costco store locator tool.
Booking a flu shot appointment online at Costco
To book an appointment for a flu shot at a Costco pharmacy near you, you can go to their website and make an online reservation here.
If you want to spend up the eventual flu shot appointment, you can download the Immunization Consent Form on the Costco site.
Don’t forget to take a valid ID and proof of Medicare insurance for your flu shot appointment.
Walk in flu shots at Costco Pharmacies ?
As well as booking an appointment online, you can walk in and ask for a flu shot. You may have to wait a while, depending on the availability of a staff member to administer your flu shot.
To speed up your visit, you could go online beforehand and download the Immunization Consent Form from the Costco website.
You will again need to take a valid ID and Medicare Part B insurance with you to your appointment.
Downloading your Immunization Consent Form
With or without making an online booking, you may want to download the Immunization Consent Form here.
You don’t have to do this, but it should speed up the appointment at Costco.
If you don’t have insurance, flu shots at Costco cost –
- Afluria or Flucelvax quadrivalent flu vaccines (members and non-members) – $19.99
- Fluad high-dose flu vaccine for seniors – $46.99
Medicare Part B will cover flu shots at a pharmacy which is Medicare-enrolled and accepts assignment.
Medicare Part B covers you for one flu shot per flu season in this case.
For flu and also for pneumonia vaccines, if the pharmacy is Medicare-enrolled and accepts assignment, there will be no deductible or coinsurance for you to pay.
A pharmacy which is Medicare-enrolled and accepts assignment should directly bill Medicare, and there should be no out-of-pocket payments to make.
If you get your flu shot at a pharmacy, don’t forget to have them notify your primary care provider about the shot.
Medicare Part B will cover one flu shot per season at Walgreens, because Walgreens is a Medicare-enrolled and accepts assignment.
There is also no deductible or coinsurance to pay, and Walgreens should bill Medicare directly, leaving you to pay nothing.
Which are the flu vaccines available at Walgreens ?
At Walgreens the following flu vaccines are available –
- quadrivalent flu vaccines
- high dose flu vaccines for seniors over 65 years
How you can organize a flu shot at Walgreens –
- schedule an appointment at a store on the Walgreens website
- use the Walgreens App to book an appointment at a store
- walk into a Walgreens store and get your flu shot
Booking an appointment online
If walking into a store and waiting in line for an appointment for your flu shot is not for you, you can use the Walgreens online store locator here and schedule an appointment for a flu shot at a Walgreens near you.
To speed up your appointment for the flu shot you can download the Informed Consent For Vaccination Form here , and fill it out prior to your appointment.
For your flu shot, you will also need to take a valid ID, proof of your Medicare insurance, and a face mask.
Schedule an appointment with the Walgreens App
Using the Walgreens Mobile App, you can also schedule an appointment for a flu shot at one of their pharmacies, through “Walgreens Find Care”.
Again, don’t forget to download the Informed Consent for Vaccination form here , and fill it out before you go for your shot flu, to cut down the time in the pharmacy.
You will also need to take a valid ID, proof of your Medicare insurance and a face mask.
You can also walk in to any Walgreens for a flu shot without an appointment – you will of course have to wait until someone is available to administer your shot.
You can still download the Informed Consent for Vaccination form here if you want to get it done ahead of time.
Again, don’t forget a valid ID, proof of Medicare Insurance and a face mask for inside the store.
At Walgreens without insurance, flu vaccines cost –
- quadrivalent flu vaccine – $31.99
- high does flu vaccine – $54.00
Medicare covers flu shots for those enrolled in Medicare Part B at Walmart pharmacies.
Walmart are Medicare-enrolled and accept assignment, and should bill Medicare directly without deductible or coinsurance to pay.
What flu vaccines are on offer at Walmart ?
Walmart’s pharmacies offer –
- quadrivalent flu vaccine – these contain 4 strains of the flu virus
- high dose flu vaccine – for the over 65’s
Walmart’s pharmacies has a number of options for you to organize your flu shot appointment –
- book a flu shot via the Walmart Mobile App
- walk in and ask for a flu shot on the spot – there is no knowing how long you will have to wait
Digital Appointment Scheduler
On the Walmart Mobile App, you can book a flu shot at a local store with a pharmacy – with the new “Digital Appointment Scheduler”.
There is a questionnaire you can download and fill out before your appointment, so you can receive the flu vaccination – it will speed up the process of the vaccination in the store.
Once at your appointment, you will be screened for Covid-19 before you get the flu shot.
Go to download the Walmart Mobile App here .
You can also just walk in and ask for a flu shot.
If your elderly loved one is going for a walk-in appointment, it is a good idea to call your local Walmart store and check they have a pharmacy.
The Walmart flu vaccines without insurance will cost you –
- quadrivalent flu vaccine – $25.00
- high dose flu vaccine (this is for 0ver 65’s) – $48.00
For those people with Medicare Part B, you don’t have to pay anything for a flu shot at Rite Aid.
Rite Aid is Medicare-enrolled and accepts assignment, which means that if you have Medicare part B, there is no deductible or coinsurance to pay for a flu shot.
Rite Aid should bill Medicare directly for the flu shot.
Flu shots at Rite Aid
Which flu shots is rite aid offering .
Flu shots available at Rite Aid this year are –
Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine
High Dose flu vaccine
Find a Rite Aid pharmacy near you
Use the store locator on the Rite Aid website here , or call 1-800-RITE-AID , to find a Rite Aid pharmacy that’s near to you.
Complete an Immunization Consent Form in advance
To speed up your time in the pharmacy, you can download the Immunization Screening and Consent Form from the Rite Aid website, fill it out and take it with you when you get your shot.
The Rite Aid Immunization Screening and Consent Form can be downloaded here.
Rite Aid only offers walk-in appointments for flu shots – you just need to visit a store pharmacy and ask for a flu shot.
You will need a valid ID, proof of Medicare insurance, and if you want to speed things up the filled out Consent Form.
A flu vaccine at Rite Aid without insurance costs –
- quadrivalent flu vaccine – $31.00
- high dose flu vaccine – $60.00
SHIP – State Health Insurance Assistance Programs
If you are having trouble understanding your Medicare and Medicaid benefits, you can contact your SHIP and get free counseling on Medicare, Medicaid and Medigap over the phone.
Here’s a quick outline on how to contact them – “Free Help Understanding Medicare And Medicaid ? Here’s Where You Get It” .
I’m Gareth, the author and owner of Looking After Mom and Dad.com
I have been a caregiver for over 10 yrs and share all my tips here.
Didn’t Find What You Were Looking For ?
You may also like…, raised toilet seats: 13 things you should know, how to choose a raised toilet seat , the ultimate guide to used medical equipment in oakland, privacy overview.
There are many places you can get your flu shot – don’t wait.
Find Flu Vaccines
covers the seasonal flu shot (or vaccine).
Your costs in Original Medicare
You pay nothing for a flu shot if your doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts
for giving the shot.
Things to know
- Don’t wait to get the flu shot. You can get the flu shot many places, including your doctor’s office and your local pharmacy — contact them for details. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, contact your plan — most places accept Medicare Advantage Plans.
- Stay safe. Your doctors and pharmacies are working hard to keep you safe and socially distanced. Remember to wear your mask when you get your shot.
- It’s safe to get the flu shot with other vaccines, so protect yourself against COVID-19 by getting your COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as your flu shot.
Your doctor or other health care provider may recommend you get services more often than Medicare covers. Or, they may recommend services that Medicare doesn’t cover. If this happens, you may have to pay some or all of the costs. Ask questions so you understand why your doctor is recommending certain services and if, or how much, Medicare will pay for them.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Influenza
- American Lung Association: Influenza
- National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
- Immunization Action Coalition
- Medicare & You: vaccines (video)
- Medicare & You: flu prevention (video)
Learn to spot and avoid common scams with the AARP Fraud Resource Center.
- AARP Medicare Question and Answer Tool
Will Medicare pay for my flu shot?
En español | Yes. Medicare Part B , which covers doctor and outpatient services, pays for one flu shot each flu season, which starts in the fall and continues through winter and early spring.
Considering flu shots as free preventive services , Part B covers the immunization without any deductibles or copayments as long as you use a provider or pharmacy that accepts Medicare assignment . This means that either of them has agreed to accept the Medicare-approved payment as full reimbursement for the shot.
If you have coverage through a private Medicare Advantage plan , rather than original Medicare, that plan also must pay for one flu shot per season without any deductibles or copayments. Medicare Advantage may require you to use an in-network provider or pharmacy.
When should I get my influenza vaccination?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that most people 6 months and older get a flu shot each flu season , ideally in September or October, so it can be fully effective when cases begin to rise every October. The CDC recommends adults 65 years and older get immunized with a high-dose or adjuvanted vaccine .
People 65 and older are at a higher risk of serious complications if they get the flu, including bacterial pneumonia , ear infections and sinus infections . It also can worsen chronic conditions such as asthma, congestive heart failure or diabetes .
This guidance to get a high-dose or adjuvanted vaccine is new for the 2022 flu season. These types of vaccines offer greater protection to older adults, many with weakened immune systems because of age, CDC officials say. Older adults’ immune systems also build up fewer antibodies in response to standard vaccine doses, and those antibodies stay around for a shorter time compared with younger people.
An adjuvant is a vaccine ingredient that helps promote a better immune response. It also can reduce the amount of virus needed for production of a vaccine, which can allow for greater supplies of the vaccine.
What types of flu vaccine are available?
While powerful vaccines have been around for a while, this is the first time they’ve been recommended for people 65 and older. The three types of high-dose vaccines are:
Fluad quadrivalent . This shot is an inactivated vaccine that consists of virus particles that have been grown in culture and then killed to destroy their disease-producing capacity, unlike live vaccines that use live pathogens. It’s approved for people 65 and older to protect against influenza virus subtypes A and types B.
It has the same amount of antigen as the standard shots but contains an adjuvant. The antigen is the part of the vaccine that helps your body build up protection against flu viruses, according to the CDC.
Flublok quadrivalent . Approved for people 18 and older and recommended for those 65 and older, this is a recombinant vaccine, which means it’s manufactured by using a small piece of DNA from bacteria or yeast cells.
Fluzone high-dose quadrivalent . This vaccine, also made from inactivated cultures and approved for people 65 and older, has four times the antigen of standard-dose inactivated flu vaccines.
As with any vaccine, the high-dose and adjuvanted flu vaccines may result in temporary, mild side effects typical of standard-dose seasonal flu shots. Expected side effects can include pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache and muscle ache. These symptoms typically go away within one to three days.
Keep in mind
You can get your flu shot at the same time as your COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot. Medicare beneficiaries also can receive the COVID-19 vaccine without any deductibles or copayments, whether they’re enrolled in original Medicare or Medicare Advantage.
Updated September 28, 2022
More on Medicare
- Protect yourself from deadly flu complications
- The big choice: Original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage
- Omicron boosters: What to know about the updated COVID-19 shots
Return to Medicare Q&A main page
Search Medicare Q&A
Find the content you are looking for by entering in search terms below.
MEDICARE MADE EASY
What is Medicare?
New in 2022
What’s Not Covered
Reasons to Change Coverage
- Changing filter Auto
- Changing filter Caregiving
- Changing filter Entertainment
- Changing filter Food
- Changing filter Health
- Changing filter Home & Family
- Changing filter Member Benefits
- Changing filter Money
- Changing filter Politics & Society
- Changing filter Retirement
- Changing filter Travel
- Changing filter Work
Latest Health News
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
You'll start receiving the latest news, benefits, events, and programs related to AARP's mission to empower people to choose how they live as they age.
You can also manage your communication preferences by updating your account at anytime. You will be asked to register or log in.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free to search for ways to make a difference in your community at www.aarp.org/volunteer
Does Medicare cover flu shots?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone aged 6 months and above get a flu shot. Flu shots provide strong protection against multiple strains of seasonal influenza, and the 2022 flu season is expected to be particularly bad due to post-pandemic increased social mixing and lack of mandated protective measures such as masking.
The flu shot can not only lower your risk of catching the flu, but if you do get sick, it can lower your risk of hospitalization and even death. This is especially important for those in high-risk groups, including those who are over age 65, have an underlying health condition, or are pregnant. But flu shots are important for everyone.
Does Medicare pay for flu shots?
The simple answer is yes. To understand Medicare flu shot coverage, let’s take a brief look at the four different parts of Medicare.
Medicare is a government-sponsored health insurance program that covers people over age 65 and younger people with certain qualifying disabilities. Parts A and B are known as original Medicare, while Parts C and D are add-ons available through private insurance companies such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas.
Medicare Part A is hospitalization insurance, which also covers hospice care and some skilled nursing or in-home care. It’s free for everyone once you turn 65 or qualify due to a disability, as long as you previously worked and paid Medicare taxes.
Medicare Part B is medical insurance. This covers doctor’s visits, preventive healthcare, and similar services. It is the part of Medicare that covers flu shots. You will become eligible for Part B at the same time as Part A, but Part B requires you to opt in and pay a small premium. There is a low deductible, but it does not apply to flu shots. As long as you have Medicare Part B, your flu shot is covered at 100%.
Medicare Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. This is wraparound coverage designed to plug the gaps in original Medicare coverage. Medicare Advantage plans are required by law to offer everything available through original Medicare, but these plans typically go much further.
Medicare Part D provides prescription drug coverage. Standalone Part D plans are available, but many Medicare Advantage plans also include this coverage.
How much is a flu shot without insurance?
The cost of a flu shot with no insurance varies by region and provider, but is typically around $40 to $50 at a pharmacy. High-dose vaccines, recommended for those aged 65 and above , may cost closer to $100. But if you have Medicare Part B, you won’t pay a cent. In addition, many hospitals, employers, and even cities host free flu shot fairs at some point just before or during flu season.
How often does Medicare cover flu shots?
Medicare will pay for one flu shot per year. You can typically get your shot at any time during one flu season, and then at any time during the next, even if a full 12 months have not elapsed. So if you got last season’s shot in January, and this season’s shot in October, Medicare will generally pay, as long as the shots are in two separate flu seasons.
Where can I get a covered flu shot?
You can get your Medicare flu shot at any place that accepts Medicare assignments. This includes major national pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS, many smaller pharmacies, and your doctor’s office. If you’re unsure, simply ask before you receive the shot whether it will be covered by Medicare.
How should I prepare for my flu shot?
Flu shots are simple and easy, and side effects are generally mild. You might experience some soreness at the injection site, as well as some slight body aches or minor fever in the hours after your shot. But Louisiana’s Ochsner Heath has some pro tips that can help you come through like a champ:
- Drink lots of water. Hydrating well before and after the shot helps relax your muscles and move the medication quickly through your system.
- Choose your arm. It’s best to keep your shot arm moving throughout the day, making your dominant arm a great choice. But if you do a lot of physical work with that arm, you could really feel the soreness. In that case, you might prefer your non-dominant arm.
- Relax. The more relaxed your arm is, the less you’ll feel the shot going in. Take a deep breath and drop your shoulder right before your vaccine.
- Take a pain reliever. It’s best not to take pain medication before your shot (unless it’s part of your treatment plan for an existing condition). But if soreness, fever, or a general feeling of unwellness sets in after the shot, take a Tylenol or Advil for some relief.
What types of flu shots are available?
There are many different flu vaccines, and one is not preferentially recommended over another for most people. However, there are a few caveats :
- The nasal mist flu spray is only approved for those ages 2 to 49 without certain underlying medical conditions.
- People aged 65 and above should get one of the high-dose flu shot options.
- Those with an allergy to eggs should get one of the egg-free options. One is approved only for adults, while the other is available for anyone aged 6 months or older.
Do I need more than one flu shot?
Most people need only a single flu shot each year. However, kids ages 6 months to 8 years should get two doses, four weeks apart, the first time they are vaccinated. If your kids are in this age group and have previously received a single-dose flu shot, ask their doctor if two doses are recommended this year.
Who should not get a flu shot?
Flu shots are recommended for nearly everyone. But there are three groups that should not get vaccinated :
- Children younger than 6 months of age.
- People with a severe, life-threatening allergy to any component of the vaccine other than eggs. Those with an egg allergy should get an egg-free option, preferably in a healthcare facility such as your doctor’s office or a local hospital.
- Those who are actively sick with severe symptoms of any illness. Wait until you recover and then get your shot.
If you fall into one of the groups below, talk to your doctor before getting a flu shot:
- Severe allergic reaction to a previous flu shot.
- History of Guillain-Barré Syndrome.
- Mild to moderate symptoms of current illness.
What are some symptoms of the flu?
The flu is a respiratory illness that can cause a range of symptoms. These include, but are not limited to:
Having the flu can increase your risk of other medical conditions, from dehydration to sinus infections to bacterial pneumonia. It can also worsen any underlying conditions you have such as asthma or diabetes.
Does Medicare cover flu treatments?
It depends. The first line of defense against an existing case of the flu is typically an antiviral medication. These pills work best when started within two days of developing flu symptoms. It’s important to get tested right away, especially since flu symptoms are similar to Covid-19 symptoms, but the antiviral medications are different for the two diseases. Original Medicare does not cover prescription drugs, including antiviral pills. But you may be covered if you have Medicare Part C or D.
If you visit a healthcare facility, your visit will be covered under normal Medicare Part B rules and copays, unless you have a Medicare Advantage plan with additional coverage. Likewise, Medicare Part A rules will apply if you are hospitalized with the flu, except if you have a Medicare Advantage plan that offers additional benefits.
To learn more about how a Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) plan can help plug the gaps in original Medicare coverage, call Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas today at 866-627-6705.
- Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Medicare & Flu Shots: How To Get It Covered (It’s Easy!)
Updated October 29, 2021
Reading time: 4 minutes
The Flu is Back in Town.
Flu season typically runs from November through April. Flu virus symptoms include fever, fatigue, body aches, cough, and sore throat. Those over 65 are at the highest risk of experiencing flu complications. The best way to prevent seasonal flu (also known as “influenza”) is by getting an annual flu shot.
Now is the time to research your health plan. Does Medicare cover the flu shot, and are there deductibles or co-pays? In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about getting a flu shot when you have Medicare. Let’s get started.
Did you know that the Insurify Medicare comparison tool can help you get better healthcare? Enter your ZIP code to uncover the best Medicare plans near you. Try it today!
Table of contents
Why vaccines matter, benefits of the flu vaccine, your vaccination options, how does medicare cover flu vaccines, faq: medicare and the flu vaccine, conclusion: vaccination is the goal.
Flu vaccines protect you and the people around you. Even people in good health can be hospitalized or die from the flu. With Covid-19 already a global concern, we all need to do our part to keep one another safe.
If you’re over 65 or suffer from upper-respiratory illness, you’re at an increased risk. Flu-related complications send more than 200,000 people in the United States to the hospital each year! In the 2018–2019 flu season, 42.9 million people got sick. Of those, 647,000 people were hospitalized as a result, and 61,200 died.
According to a 2019 study co-authored by the CDC, 90 percent of people hospitalized by flu-related sickness were over 65.
Immunization protects you and your community.
Flu shots prevent the flu— 4.4 million cases of the flu in 2018-19.*
Flu shots lessen the severity of symptoms if you become infected — meaning you’re less likely to be hospitalized.
Flu shots offer important protections to people with chronic illness — including chronic lung disease, COPD, and chronic heart disease.
Flu shots protect people who cannot take vaccinations — fewer infections mean better protection for the most vulnerable.
See Also: Does Insurance Cover COVID Testing for Travel?
Compare Car Insurance Quotes Instantly
There are several versions of the flu vaccine. The standard flu vaccine is administered via a needle and usually contains three to four dead or inactive strains of the flu. Which strains depend on research: every year researchers identify strains they believe will be most prevalent for that year’s flu season.
If you’re eligible for Medicare, you’re also eligible for a high-dose flu shot (Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent). The idea behind the high-dose flu shot is to give those over 65 a boosted immune response, improving protection against seasonal flu.
Is the High-Dose Flu Vaccine Better for Me?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, yes. Studies have shown that Fluzone High-Dose offers better protection than standard-dose flu shots. Adults 65 and older who received the high-dose flu shot had 24 percent fewer flu infections! But the CDC has no preference for either high-dose or standard. The priority is to get vaccinated, period.
Vaccine coverage depends on how you’ve set up your Medicare health plan.
Medicare Part A
One half of Original Medicare, Medicare Part A covers hospital stays, home healthcare, hospice, and skilled nursing facilities. It does not cover the flu shot. You’re eligible if you are 65 or older, and it’s free if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for 10 years or more. You can sign up three months prior to your 65th birthday, either online or at a social security office.
Medicare Part B
This is the other half of Original Medicare, meant to cover your medical insurance . Medicare Part B covers preventative services like the flu shot. Medicare Part B covers one flu shot a year. A second shot may be covered if medically necessary.
The flu shots covered by Medicare must be FDA approved. This means that nasal spray vaccines are not covered . Other preventative vaccines, such as the seasonal H1N1 swine flu vaccine and hepatitis B shots, are covered if you are in a high-risk category.
You will need to sign up separately for Medicare Part B. Sign up during your Initial Enrollment Period, just as you would with Part A. If you choose to postpone enrollment, be sure to contact a Medicare representative to ensure you post-pone enrollment properly. Postponing enrollment improperly will result in late enrollment penalties that last your lifetime!
Medicare Part C
Medicare Part C plans offer both Part A and B benefits. Flu shots are covered by Medicare Part C with Part B benefits included. Some Medicare Part C plans include prescription drug coverage. Normally, prescription drug coverage is a part of Medicare Part D.
Learn More: Best & Worst Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D is your optional prescription drug plan. Medicare Part D plans have different deductibles, coinsurance, and co-pays. Medicare Part D covers vaccines other than the flu shot when medically required.
Vaccines covered under Part D include:
MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine
BCG vaccine for tuberculosis
Tdap vaccine for pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria, and tetanus
Hepatitis A and B vaccines for high-risk individuals
Shingles vaccine : Part D is required to cover the shingles vaccine. The FDA has approved two types: Zostavax (zoster) and Shingrix (recombinant zoster). The preferred vaccine is Shingrix and has been available since 2017.
Private insurance companies offer Medicare Supplement Insurance plans. Also known as Medigap, these plans work alongside your Original Medicare. Medigap may help pay coinsurance and co-pays. There are many different options, so it’s important to determine the right plan for you. Using the Insurify Medicare plan comparison tool is an easy way to find and compare what’s available in your area.
Learn More: Can Medigap Plan G Save You Money?
Is the flu vaccine Free with Medicare?
You’re eligible for Medicare if you are 65 or older. There are several different types of Medicare. Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacy before you go. While Medicare covers flu shots, not every Medicare program allows for free flu shots. Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) and Medicare Part B pay the full cost of the flu shot at any pharmacy or healthcare provider that accepts Medicare. If it’s your first time using a particular pharmacy or healthcare provider, give them a call to ask whether they take Medicare. Inquire about co-payments and reimbursement, and visit medicare.gov to research your Medicare coverage.
Do I need the pneumococcal vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all adults age 65 and older. There are two kinds of pneumococcal vaccines: Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax23. Both help protect against the pneumococcal bacteria that tends to cause serious infections in senior citizens. Talk with your doctor about which vaccine is right for you.
Where can I get a flu vaccine?
You can get a flu vaccine at your doctor’s office or local urgent care. If you are in the United States, most pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens, offer flu shots as well. If you are having difficulty locating a vaccine provider, visit the CDC website to utilize their free vaccine finder.
Will Medicare cover my flu shot at Walgreens or CVS?
The amount you pay for a flu shot varies depending on where you are vaccinated. Most pharmacies, including CVS and Walgreens, accept Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage assignment. The best way to be sure is to contact your local Walgreens or CVS directly. Check your plan’s coverage rules to find out where you can get your vaccine at the lowest cost. Ask questions about deductibles, co-payment, or coinsurance.
How much does Medicare pay for a flu shot?
The amount Medicare pays for a flu shot depends on the flu shot being administered. The fee Medicare pays for a standard dose vaccine is approximately $30. For the high-dose vaccine, Medicare pays around $60.
How much will a flu shot cost without Medicare?
Without Medicare, Medicaid, or other health insurance, your annual flu shot can cost anywhere from $30 to $70 or more for the high-dose flu shot. Ask your local senior center or health department if there are locations in your area offering free flu shots. Discounted price coupons for this preventative service are also available from SingleCare. Download the app or visit the website and search “Fluad” or “Fluzone High-Dose.”
Flu shots are effective, extra important for seniors and those in high-risk categories, and with most Medicare health insurance plans, free. Check with your Medicare plan and your local Walgreens or CVS to make sure you’re covered. Ask questions about reimbursement, co-payment, and coinsurance. Take advantage of online coupons and local resources for free and discounted flu shots. Let’s all stay healthy!
And don’t forget that the Insurify Medicare comparison tool is always here to help you find the best Medicare plan at the best price. With just your ZIP code, you can uncover plan options and compare them side-by-side. Try it today!
Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Service's database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums.
Jackie Cohen is an editorial manager at Insurify specializing in property & casualty insurance educational content. She has years of experience analyzing insurance trends and helping consumers better understand their insurance coverage to make informed decisions about their finances.
Jackie's work has been cited in USA Today, The Balance, and The Washington Times.
Compare plans today.
- Coverage >
Does Medicare Cover Flu Shots?
Medicare does cover flu shots for those enrolled in Part B or Part C (Medicare Advantage) plans. You can get Medicare-covered flu shots at a pharmacy or doctor’s office that accepts Medicare payment.
by David Levine | Published February 14, 2022 | Reviewed by John Krahnert
The COVID-19 pandemic has put immunizations to the top of everyone’s mind. But it’s easy to forget that another virus causes lots of pain and suffering, especially among seniors: influenza.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those over age 65 have the highest risk of developing serious and potentially fatal complications from the flu. The CDC reports that, during the 2019-2020 flu season, there were up to 56 million cases of the flu resulting in up to 26 million medical visits, 740,000 hospitalizations and 62,000 deaths. 1
Flu season typically runs from December to February, but cases can appear both earlier and later in the year, even into the spring months of April and May. The best way to prevent getting sick from the flu is with a flu shot. Even those who do get sick experience milder symptoms and have a much lower risk of being hospitalized.
Physicians recommend getting the flu shot in the fall, from September to November. This gives your body the time it needs to build immunity before the viruses become most abundant in winter.
Does Medicare Pay for Flu Shots?
Yes, Medicare covers flu shots. Medicare has several parts, and each part doesn’t cover the flu shot, however. Let’s break it down, part by part.
Medicare Part A Flu Shot Coverage
Medicare Part A covers inpatient care you receive during hospitalizations, at skilled nursing facilities, hospice and some home health care. It does not cover the flu shot, however.
Medicare Part B Flu Shot Coverage
Medicare Part B is your medical insurance. It covers outpatient care and preventive services, which includes the flu shot. Part B is optional, and some people who have employer-sponsored insurance after age 65 may often opt out of Part B, at least until their other insurance ends.
Part B pays the full price for one flu vaccine per season, and may cover a second vaccination if your doctor deems it medically necessary. This covers flu shots that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for people over age 65.
Medicare Part B also covers a seasonal H1N1 swine flu vaccine, as well as the pneumococcal vaccine to prevent pneumonia. Medicare Part B also fully covers the COVID-19 vaccine.
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) Flu Shot Coverage
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) include both Part A and B benefits. These plans are sold by private insurance companies and replace your Original Medicare coverage (Parts A and B).
Because Part B benefits are included, Medicare Advantage plans cover flu shots. Medicare Advantage plans may also offer some additional benefits, such as hearing, dental and vision care. Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage .
Medicare Part D Flu Shot Coverage
Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are optional, and plans offer different formularies (the list of drugs it will pay for), copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. Some Part D plans even offer $0 deductibles .
Medicare Part D plans the flu shot, along with many other vaccines. However, you need to have Part B in order to have Part D as well. And when you have Part B, it will pay the full price for your flu vaccine.
Part D coverage will pay for other vaccinations, such as:
- Shingles vaccine
- Tdap vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (also called whooping cough)
- MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine
- BCG vaccine for tuberculosis
- Meningococcal vaccines
- Hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines for individuals considered high-risk
What Is and Isn’t Covered
Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage plans cover the full cost of the flu shot if you use a doctor, other provider or pharmacy that accepts Medicare payments. If you are using a pharmacy or provider for the first time, be sure to ask if they accept Medicare assignments before making an appointment.
Medicare only covers the flu shot. It does not cover nasal spray flu vaccines, because the FDA has not approved them for this age group.
If you do not have Medicare Parts B or C, or other health insurance, a dose of flu vaccine may cost between $139 and $160 , depending on the pharmacy, according to the web site Singlecare.com. Some pharmacies may offer seniors a discounted price of about $70 for a flu shot.
In addition, a local senior center or your local health department may hold clinics to provide free flu shots to those without insurance. Check with them during flu season.
Providers That Accept Medicare for Flu Shots
Medicare Part B covers the cost of your annual flu shot as long as you visit a provider who accepts Medicare.
A Medicare provider could be your doctor or a medical clinic, but it might also include health care providers and clinics at retail locations such as Wal-Mart, some grocery stores and retail pharmacies such as Walgreens, CVS and others.
Check with your local flu shot providers and ask if they accept Medicare before getting your flu vaccination.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans Can Cover Medicare Costs When You Get the Flu
If you get the flu or another illness and your treatment is covered by Medicare, you may likely face out-of-pocket Medicare costs such as deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.
A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan can help pay for these costs.
For example, each of the 10 standardized Medigap plans that are available in most states help cover the Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments you might face when you receive covered flu treatment.
Learn more about common procedures that medicare covers .
A licensed agent can help you decide on a Medicare option that works for you. Call today to speak with a licensed agent and compare the Medigap plans that are available where you live.
Compare Medigap plans in your area.
Or call now to speak with a licensed insurance agent:
About the author
David Levine is an award-winning writer and editor whose work has been featured in the New York Times, New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated, American Heritage, U.S. News & World Report and others.
David has covered health, health insurance and health policy topics – among many others – since 2017. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of Rochester and currently lives in Albany, New York.
1 CDC. (Dec. 3, 2020). 2019-2020 U.S. Flu Season: Preliminary In-Season Burden Estimates. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm.
What do medicare parts a and b (original medicare) cover, what medicare does and does not cover, medicare preventive benefits, does medicare cover mental health | medicare coverage advice, does medicare cover surgery, does medicare cover silversneakers, does medicare cover medicine, does medicare cover vision.
Get a Free Medicare Guide!
Enter your email address and get a free guide to Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance, as well as important Medicare news and tips. We promise to never send you spam – just helpful content!
By clicking "Get your guide" you are agreeing to receive emails from MedicareSupplement.com.
We've been helping people find their perfect Medicare plan for over 10 years.
Ready to find your plan?
Or chat about my options with an agent
Thanks for signing up for our emails!
Your free Medicare guide will arrive in your email inbox shortly. You can also look forward to informative email updates about Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance.
If you'd like to speak with an agent right away, we're standing by for that as well. Give us a call!
Call now 1-800-995-4219 TTY 711, 24/7 LICENSED AGENTS AVAILABLE NOW
Your free Medicare Supplement Insurance quote is closer than you think — with no obligation to enroll!
Click “Get started” to request your free Medicare Supplement quote online.
On the phone
Our licensed insurance agents are waiting to take your call and answer your questions.
Under 65 Years Old?
Call a Licensed Insurance Agent to check your eligibility
Under 64 Years Old?
Does Medicare cover flu shots at CVS? Yes, CVS accepts Medicare coverage for flu shots. Does Medicare cover over 65 flu shots? Yes, under
Medicare Part B covers a flu shot at CVS, and there is no deductible or coinsurance to pay. CVS is Medicare-enrolled and accepts assignment
Your flu shot may be free with medical insurance or Medicare Part B. There is no copayment unless required by your plan. We also accept cash, checks and credit
Medicare and Medicaid are accepted at MinuteClinic locations. Learn more about the differences between Medicare and Medicaid today.
Part B covers certain doctors' services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services. covers the seasonal flu shot (or vaccine). Your costs
You can get your Medicare-covered flu shot from any qualified doctor or healthcare provider. But they must have accepted a Medicare assignment
Medicare Part B, which covers doctor and outpatient services, pays for one flu shot each flu season. Learn more about Medicare Part B coverage.
You can get your Medicare flu shot at any place that accepts Medicare assignments. This includes major national pharmacies such as Walgreens
One half of Original Medicare, Medicare Part A covers hospital stays, home healthcare, hospice, and skilled nursing facilities. It does not cover the flu shot.
Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage plans cover the full cost of the flu shot if you use a doctor, other provider or pharmacy that accepts