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Getting Your Flu Shot on Medicare

Posted on December 17, 2021 by Kyle Walton

What is the importance of vaccination for seniors?

It’s no secret that seniors, and the older population in general, is unfortunately much more vulnerable to disease and illness than the younger population is. Although vaccinations are important for everyone, they can be especially important for seniors for this reason.

One of the most important vaccinations for seniors to receive is the seasonal influenza (the flu) shot. Getting vaccinated can help protect you against this unwelcome visitor this winter, adding an extra layer of safety to your immune system just in time for holiday family gatherings.

Contracting the flu can be extremely dangerous for seniors, as complications like pneumonia are quite common for individuals in this demographic. In fact, seniors account for approximately 85 percent of flu-related deaths and 70 percent of flu-related hospitalizations  each and every year.

Simply put, there is really no way to understate the importance of getting your flu shot if you are an older person. 

Does Medicare cover the flu shot?

One of the great beauties of Original Medicare coverage is that currently, beneficiaries may pay nothing for most preventative care services, including vaccination against the seasonal flu as long as the doctor or provider who gives you the shot accepts Medicare assignment.

Often, most doctors and providers who offer the flu shot also accept Medicare assignment, meaning that you are likely able to get Medicare coverage for the flu shot at many locations, including in your doctor’s office or at your local pharmacy.

Important: It is possible that your doctor or other healthcare 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 be responsible for paying some or all of the costs. Ask questions so you understand why your doctor is recommending certain services and whether Medicare will pay for them.

It’s important to do everything you can to stay safe during flu season. Your doctors and pharmacies work very hard to ensure your physical health and safety is their highest priority. When the opportunity arises, don’t put off getting your flu shot.

When is the best time to get my senior flu shot?

Each year, the best time to get vaccinated against the annual flu is between mid-September through the end of October, with the goal of receiving full vaccination status by the time the virus is most active in the general population. Additionally, getting your flu shot at this time ensures that your immunity will not wear off before the flu season ends in late March/early April.

Additionally, it is highly recommended that you consult with your doctor about the best possible time for you to receive your vaccine, as peak-flu season may vary depending on the part of the country in which you live.

According to the world’s foremost healthcare experts, it is entirely safe to get the flu shot along with other vaccines, so be sure to get your COVID-19 vaccination and boosters at the same time as your flu shot if you haven’t received them already.

About the Author

Kyle Walton

Kyle is a professional writer with several years of experience helping to inform the public on many diverse topics and industries, including healthcare. He is a Kutztown University graduate, Class of 2017.

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