The season of flu usually lasts from November through April. Fever, weariness, bodily aches, cough, and sore throat are all flu virus symptoms. Flu complications are most common in people over the age of 65. The most uncomplicated strategy to avoid seasonal flu (also known as “influenza”) is to obtain a Medicare flu shot yearly because medicare helps with the costs.
Now is the moment to start thinking about your healthcare strategy. Is the flu vaccination covered by Medicare, and are there any deductibles or copays? In this piece, we’ll go over everything you need to know about getting a flu shot through Medicare. Let’s get this party started.
Vaccines and Their Importance
Vaccines against the flu protect you and those around you. Even healthy persons might be hospitalized or die due to the virus. We all need to fulfill our part to keep each other safe, especially since Covid-19 is a global problem.
Moreover, you’re at a higher risk if you’re over 65 or have an upper-respiratory infection. Each year, flu-related complications send over 200,000 people to the hospital in the United States! 42.9 million people got sick during the 2018–2019 flu season. As a result, 647,000 individuals were admitted to hospitals, and 61,200 died.
90% of those hospitalized by flu-related illness were over 65, according to a 2019 study co-authored by the CDC.
The Influenza Vaccine’s Advantages
Immunization protects both you and the people around you.
- Flu shot prevents the flu, which caused 4.4 million cases in 2018-19.
- Flu vaccinations reduce the intensity of symptoms if you get sick, which means you’re less likely to end up in the hospital.
- People with chronic illnesses like chronic lung disease, COPD, and chronic heart disease can benefit from flu vaccinations.
- Flu vaccines protect people who cannot receive vaccinations—fewer infections mean better protection for those most vulnerable.
The flu vaccination comes in a variety of forms. They use a needle to give the conventional flu vaccination, which usually comprises three to four dead or inactive flu viruses. The strains will be most frequent depending on research: every year, researchers select which strains will be most widespread throughout the flu season.
If you have Medicare, you are also eligible for a high-dose flu vaccine (Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent). The goal of the high-dose flu shot is to increase the immunological response of people over 65, making them more resistant to seasonal flu.
Is the Flu Vaccine with a High Dose Better for Me?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the answer is yes. Fluzone High-Dose has been demonstrated in studies to provide higher protection than standard-dose flu injections. Adults 65 and older who got the high-dose flu vaccination had a 24% lower risk of getting the flu! The CDC, on the other hand, has no preference for high-dose or standard. The most important thing is to get immunized.
What is the Medicare flu shot policy?
Flu shot coverage is determined by how your Medicare health plan is set up.
Part A of Medicare
Medicare Part A, which makes up half of Original Medicare, includes hospital stays, home healthcare, hospice, and skilled nursing facilities. It does not have the flu vaccine. If you’re 65 or older, you’re eligible, and it’s free if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years. However, three months before your 65th birthday, you can sign up online or at a social security office.
Part B of Medicare
This is the 2nd half of Original Medicare, which covers your medical expenses. Medicare Part B covers preventative services, such as the flu vaccination. Medicare Part B covers one flu shot once a year. It may cover a second shot if medically necessary.
The FDA must authorize the flu vaccines funded by Medicare. For example, it does not cover Nasal spray immunizations. If you fall into the high-risk category, you’ll be covered for other prophylactic immunizations, including the seasonal H1N1 swine flu vaccine and hepatitis B doses.
You must register for Medicare Part B separately, just like you would for Part A, during your Initial Registration Period. If you opt to postpone enrollment, make sure you contact a Medicare representative to do it correctly. If you delay enrolling promptly, you will be penalized for the rest of your life!
Part C of Medicare
Part C plans include both Part A and Part B coverage. Medicare Part C covers the flu vaccine, including Part B benefits. Prescription drug coverage is available in some Medicare Part C plans. Medicare Part D usually includes prescription drug coverage.
Part D of Medicare
Medicare Part D is a prescription drug plan that you can choose from. Deductibles, coinsurance, and copays vary by Medicare Part D plan. Medicare Part D covers immunizations other than the flu shot when medically necessary.
Part D covers the following vaccines:
- MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, and rubella)
- Tuberculosis vaccine (BCG)
- Pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria, and tetanus (Tdap) vaccine
- Vaccines against meningococcal disease
- Vaccines against hepatitis A and B for high-risk people
- Shingles vaccination: Part D covers the shingles vaccine. The FDA has approved two versions: Zostavax (zoster) and Shingrix (recombinant zoster). Shingrix is the favored vaccine, and it has been available since 2017.
Medicare Supplement Insurance policies are available from private insurance firms. These plans, often called Medigap, function in conjunction with Original Medicare. Medigap may cover coinsurance and copays. Because there are so many possibilities, it’s crucial to figure out which one is best for you.
Visit our website NewMedicare.com for more assistance.