Are flu shots covered by Medicare? How much do I have to pay? Do I have to go to my doctor or can I get a shot at a pharmacy or clinic? Will Medicare cover my flu shots at Costco or Sam’s? Does my Medicare Advantage cover flu shots? Do I need Medicare Part D?
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Should you get a flu shot? Is it safe? How much will you have to pay?
Thousands of Americans die from flu-related complications in a typical year, and last season’s H1N1 strain hit young adults particularly hard.
Flu and pneumonia combined consistently rank among the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. – NPR
That’s pretty convincing.
Most people dismiss the flu as a bother more than anything, but influenza is nothing to be taken lightly.
Rachel nearly died that night
Rachel was a previously healthy woman in her 40’s when she was admitted to ICU.
Within 24 hours of hospitalization she required a breathing tube and the ventilator settings were piped up to the maximum: 100 percent oxygen with highest pressures. And yet, she was still not getting sufficient oxygen to her heart and brain.
Overnight, Rachel’s condition worsened. A heart surgeon was called and a last ditch effort was made to provide her oxygenation with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. ECMO provides temporary oxygen to patients whose heart and lung are severely damaged. Often it is used as a heart-lung machine during cardiac bypass surgery. –Kevin MD
Had she recently traveled to the Middle East? Had she been in contact with animals that were severely ill?
No and no her husband responded.
The doctor ordered a bronchoscopy.
The bronchosopy test had shown Rachel had influenza A, the seasonal flu. The previous two tests had been false negatives, but the more definitive bronchoscopy test had come positive. She was already on multiple antibiotics and Tamiflu, yet she was still critically ill.
A few weeks later and Rachel was responding to intense treatment and was ready for discharge to a rehab center.
50,000 people die each year from the flu. Influenza results in 79,000 hospitalizations each year.
Flu shots are inexpensive
Medicare covers most flu shots under Part B and in most cases there is no charge to the beneficiary. It doesn’t matter if you get your flu shot at your doctor’s office, in a clinic, pharmacy or a warehouse club like Costco.
There are several places where you can get your influenza shot for free.
You generally do not need Medicare Part D and the charges are the same if you have a Medicare Advantage plan.
With more than 170 different Medigap plans, how do you find the one that is right for you? We can help.