The holiday season is upon us – a time to laugh, a time to love, and a time to avoid contracting every little “bug” that comes along. We run around avoiding runny noses, shaking hands, and the dreaded person next to us in the grocery store line with the gnarly dry cough. But did you know Medicare covers preventive medicine, including flu and pneumonia vaccines, at 100 percent?
Medicare’s No-Cost Preventive Medicine Benefits
Flu season is here and runs from November through April. Original Medicare will cover a flu shot once per flu season at 100 percent as long the provider or facility giving the vaccine participates with Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans will also cover your flu shot at 100 percent as long as it’s given by a provider that participates with your Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans also cover the cost of pneumococcal shots at 100 percent for all Medicare beneficiaries. These vaccines are typically only given once per lifetime.
When to Get Your Flu and Pneumococcal Vaccines
There are numerous strains of pneumonia, therefore, there are two different pneumococcal vaccines – PCV13 and PPSV23. Both pneumococcal vaccines CANNOT be given at the same time. You can, however, receive your flu shot along with one pneumococcal shot, and it’s recommended that you receive pneumococcal vaccine PCV13 first if both are necessary.
Because flu season has already begun, it’s best that you get vaccinated now!
Do you have any questions about Medicare’s preventive medicine program? Do you have any other questions we can answer for you?
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.