Flu shots are nothing but influenza vaccines. It is a protection against the influenza viruses. The vaccine plays a very important role in the health as influenza is a very serious disease. Also, it is a very common disease that affects millions of people every year. Every person experiences different effects of influenza, commonly known as flu. Thousands of people get hospitalized due to influenza infection and many people die due to this disease or other conditions that are related to flu.
About the Flu Shots or Flu Vaccines
It is because of this widespread occurrence and circulation of flu infection every year that the flu vaccines, commonly known as flu shots are so important. They are the best way to reduce the risk of acquiring the flu as well as reduce the risk of spreading the disease to others.
The flu shots help the body to develop antibodies that can protect the body from getting the influenza infection. The vaccines contain a very small amount of the viruses and thereby, the body recognizes them beforehand and prepares itself to fight the viruses, when they actually attack.
There are different types of the flu vaccines or flu shots.
Seasonal Flu Shots: Usually, the seasonal flu shots are given to people. The seasonal flu shots offer protection from those influenza viruses that are going to be common in the coming flu season, as per researches.
Traditional Flu Shots: Along with the seasonal flu shots, there is the traditional flu shot that provides protection from influenza A (H1N1) virus, influenza A (H3N2) virus and influenza B virus. Since this flu shot offers protection from three types of flu viruses, it is also called the “trivalent” vaccines.
Quadrivalent Flu Shots: This type of flu shot is designed to fight four types of flu viruses including the ones that you get covered in a traditional flu shot, along with an additional influenza B virus.
Does Medicare Cover Flu Shots?
Medicare is a medical insurance program from the federal government of the United States of America. Every person, who is 65 years old and older, is covered by Medicare. The Part B of Medicare Insurance covers one flu shot every year, in the flu season. Usually the flu season starts from the month of November and runs through April. So, it means that you can get two flu shots in a year.
However, for the 100% payment of the cost, the medical provider has to be licensed and participate in the Medicare program. A doctor, a pharmacist at a local drug store, a nurse, whether at a walk-in clinic or at a pharmacy or grocery store near you, any medical practitioner and license holder can participate in Medicare program. It is this service provider that will give you a form to fill up, before giving the flu shot. You have to fill in the details of your Medicare plan. The service provider will send the details and information to Medicare. You will not have to pay anything to the service provider. The flu shots are completely covered by Medicare.
If you have Original Medicare Plan or the Medicare Advantage Plan, then also you will receive the same.
Original Medicare Plan:
In case you are in the Original Medicare plan, one flu shot every year is free for you. There is no co-pay and no deductible. However, for that the flu shot must be administered by a doctor or even a pharmacist, who agrees to accept the payment as approved by Medicare, as a reimbursement for the medical service of providing the flu shots.
Medicare Advantage Plan:
Those, who are in the Medicare Advantage Plan, can also access the yearly and seasonal flu shot for free. However, for that he or she has to choose a doctor from the network of the provider of the Medicare Advantage Plan.
Who Should Get The Flu Shots?
Every person, living in the United States of America should get the flu shots every year, as per the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention). It is important to take the flu vaccines every year because the nature of the influenza viruses keeps evolving with time. To match with these viruses, the flu shots are also advanced and upgraded once in every two years.
The flu shots actually save you huge by reducing the chances of flu. Since Medicare covers the flu shots, it is really a convenient option to get the flu shots every year. If you are not covered by Medicare, you may have to pay for the flu shots. However, even then the cost for the flu shot would be lesser than the flu treatment cost.