Vaccines and Immunizations: What does Medicare cover?

Vaccines and Immunizations: What does Medicare cover?

Receiving vaccines and immunizations are vital when it comes to protecting your health. But, what does Medicare do to protect you from the costs?

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B not only provides coverage for outpatient services but also provides coverage for certain vaccines. These vaccines include:

  • Influenza shots
  • Pneumococcal shots
  • Hepatitis B shots

Part B also provides coverage for vaccines if it’s meant for a medical emergency, such as if you’ve been subjected to a dangerous virus or disease. Examples of the vaccinations that Part B would cover include tetanus shots or rabies shots.

Even if you are receiving coverage for these vaccines, it’s essential to know that Part B may not pay for everything. For influenza and pneumococcal vaccines, you may not pay anything as long as the provider accepts the assignment for giving the shots. If you are at a lower risk of contracting Hepatitis B, you may or may not be covered.

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D is known as the prescription drug coverage plan, in which you can have a standalone plan, or you can choose a Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage worked in. Part D covers the following immunizations:

  • Tdap or Td
  • Shingles (Zoster)
  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Pneumococcal

Part D is expected to cover all vaccines that are considered commercially available, medically. necessary to deter illness, and are not covered by Part B.

It’s important to note that even if you are receiving coverage for these vaccines, you may not be receiving full coverage. Your costs could depend on the amount that isn’t covered by Medicare, the type of vaccine, where you get it, and who gives it to you.

Why is it important to receive vaccines/immunizations?

As we age, our immune systems become weaker, making it much easier to be susceptible to infections and other diseases. This also makes it harder for our bodies to recuperate and fight off those infections, resulting in long-term complications, hospitalization, or even death. If you’ve developed any ongoing health conditions, this also increases your risk of becoming sick and developing more severe symptoms. By getting your proper vaccines and immunizations, you can significantly decrease your risk of becoming sick or experiencing severe symptoms from viruses or other illnesses.

There are many concerns and misconceptions involving vaccines in regards to how people may react after receiving them. If you have had allergic reactions after receiving a vaccine, then it’s best to stay clear. If you are still concerned about a certain vaccine, then talk to your doctor to receive all the information you need.

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