From COVID to flu: How Medicare covers vaccinations

Jan 6th, 2022 | By | Category: Health & Fitness

Let’s start with how Medicare covers the flu shot. Medicare Part B covers one flu shot every flu season. The flu season usually runs from November through April. Depending on when you choose to get your flu shot, Medicare may cover a flu shot twice in one calendar year. For example, if you get a shot in January 2021 for the 2020/2021 flu season, you could get another shot in October 2021 for the 2021/2022 flu season.

Next, the pneumonia shot. Pneumonia is an infection that targets the lungs and can cause fever, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms. Pneumonia shots help prevent pneumonia. Medicare Part B covers two separate pneumonia vaccines. Part B covers the first shot if you have never received Part B coverage for a pneumonia shot before. You are covered for a different, second vaccination one year after receiving the first shot. You are not required to provide a vaccination history when receiving the pneumonia vaccine. You can verbally tell the health care professional administering the shot if/when you have received past shots.

Medicare Part B additionally covers hepatitis B shots if you qualify. Hepatitis B is a virus that attacks the liver and can cause chronic liver disease. Hepatitis B shots can help prevent the disease. Medicare Part B covers the hepatitis B vaccine if you are at medium or high risk for hepatitis B. If you are at low risk for hepatitis B, the shot will be covered under Part D.

And finally, let’s discuss how Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccines. Original Medicare Part B covers COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan. You should bring your red, white, and blue Medicare card with you to your vaccination appointment, even if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or booster for certain populations. Speak with your doctor to learn more about your eligibility for a third dose or for a booster.