Medicare Covers A Variety Of Vaccinations At No Cost To You Including The Pneumonia Or Pneumococcal Vaccine
Medicare does cover the Pneumonia vaccine, but the exact conditions will vary. Usually, Medicare will provide full coverage for two doses of the vaccine, but the situation can be different if you have a Part C Medicare Advantage Plan. Well go through all of the details here, so you can know what to expect.
Is It Cheaper To Get A Vaccine At My Doctors Office Or A Pharmacy
You may feel more comfortable getting shots at your healthcare providers office. Your provider knows your patient history and can provide a one-on-one experience. If you choose to get vaccinated at your providers office, keep in mind you may be billed for an office visit in addition to the cost of the shot.
For the COVID-19 vaccine, your provider shouldnt charge you if the vaccine was the only service you received. You should ask for a refund if you believe you were billed in error for the COVID-19 vaccine.
You can also get immunizations against flu, pneumonia, shingles, and other conditions at your local pharmacy. Youll be responsible for any copays or deductibles depending on your prescription drug plan, but you wont have an office visit copay.
Plus, your vaccine record will be kept on file as part of your permanent pharmacy history. When you get vaccinated at your pharmacy, your information is entered into the state immunization registry, which can be accessed by your doctor, Dr. Schaffner says.
Vaccines For Children Program
The Vaccines for Children Program provides vaccines to children whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them. A child is eligible if they are younger than 19 years old and meets one of the following requirements:
- American Indian or Alaska Native
If your child is VFC-eligible, ask if your doctor is a VFC provider. For help in finding a VFC provider near you, contact your state or local health departments VFC Program Coordinator or call CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO .
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How Often Can I Get The Vaccine
Medicare will pay for your vaccination under your Part B coverage. You will be able to get two vaccinations: one at any time you choose, and another fully covered vaccination at least one year after the first.
If your doctor notes that you need another pneumococcal vaccination, you may need to pay some or all of the cost associated. If this is the case, make sure you understand how much you will have to pay beforehand, if possible.
You will only receive full coverage for your pneumococcal vaccination if your doctor accepts Medicare assignment. This means that they charge only the Medicare-approved amount for their services, which results in no excess charges. If youre unsure whether or not your doctor accepts Medicare assignment, they should be able to tell you.
Medicare Part B Vaccines
These vaccinations are covered under Medicare Part B :
- Pneumococcal pneumonia
- Hepatitis B
In addition, these other vaccinations are covered to treat certain injuries, or if youve been directly exposed to a particular disease or condition:
- Botulin antitoxin
- Antivenin sera
Part B vaccinations are available at no cost! You can get them at your doctors office, or see if your in-network pharmacy carries them.
Note: If you get other services besides the vaccine shot during your doctors visit, a copay may apply for those other services.
If you choose an out-of-network pharmacy, you may have to pay out of pocket and then submit a claim for reimbursement. In some cases, the amount of that reimbursement may be less than what you paid at the pharmacy.
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Who Should Get The Pneumonia Shot
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 65 which includes most Medicare beneficiaries should get the Pneumovax 23 vaccine.
Who Should Get the Pneumovax 23 Shot?
- All people age 65 or older
- Cigarette smokers between the ages of 19 through 64
- People between 2 and 64 years old with certain medical conditions
The Prevnar 13 vaccine is generally recommended for children younger than 2 years old or for older people with certain medical conditions.
The CDC suggests anyone 65 and older can ask for the Prevnar 13 vaccine if they decide with their doctor that it would be beneficial to them.
You Can Get A Shingles Vaccine Two Ways:
At the pharmacy. Youll still need a doctors prescription, but once thats been transmitted, you can get the shot at a retail pharmacy.
Most major chains and some independent pharmacies can administer the vaccine. Just make sure to use a store in your drug plans network so that it can bill your plan directly and youll owe just the copayment.
At the doctors office. If youre vaccinated in a doctors office, check whether it can bill your drug plan directly or works with a pharmacy that can do so. If so, it will work as mentioned above, with you owing a copayment. If not, you may need to pay the full cost up front and then file a claim for reimbursement from your plan.
Remember that the doctors fee for administering the vaccine may exceed your plans allowable charge, in which you case youre on the hook for the difference. It pays to check beforehand.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Jan. 1, 2014. It has been updated with the latest information regarding Medicare coverage in 2020.
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It Prevents Lots Of Serious Infections
Getting vaccinated is very effective at preventing pneumonia, an infection in the lungs that can be life-threatening. It can also protect you from meningitis, bloodstream infections and ear infections. As we age, our immune systems weaken and its harder to fight off infections. Thats why its so important that older adults get this vaccine.
Medicare Advantage Plans May Cover More Vaccines Than Original Medicare
Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies as an alternative to Original Medicare.
Every Medicare Advantage plan must provide the same hospital and medical benefits as Medicare Part A and Part B, and most plans include Medicare prescription drug coverage.
MAPDs must help cover a number of commercially available vaccines that arent covered by Original Medicare when reasonably and medically necessary to prevent illness. However, specific rules of administration and costs will vary depending on the Medicare Advantage plan you enroll in.
A licensed insurance agent can help you compare Medicare Advantage plans in your area, including what vaccinations may be covered.
Find Medicare plans that cover your vaccinations
Or call 1-800-557-6059TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!
About the author
Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.
His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.
Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelors degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.
Where you’ve seen coverage of Christian’s research and reports:
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Which Medicare Providers Cover The Shingles Vaccine
Even though all insurance plans for Medicare Plan D offer some level of coverage for the shingles vaccine, the typical cost for the vaccine will vary. Your actual cost will depend on your plan details and if you’ve already met your deductible.
Typical costs based on available plans in Charlotte, NC , Boston, MA , and Los Angeles, CA
Does Medicare Cover Shingles Vaccine
Original Medicare doesnt cover shingles vaccines, but that doesnt necessarily mean youll have to pay for it out-of-pocket. The shingles vaccine is required to be one of the vaccines covered by Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans.
In fact, most vaccines are covered under your prescriptionplan, rather than by Original Medicare. You should check with your specificplan for information such as what your costs will be, which vaccines you canreceive, and where you can go to receive them. Like Original Medicare, some vaccinescovered by Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans may have eligibilityrestrictions, so be sure to ask your healthcare provider if you qualify.
Being properly vaccinated helps prevent you from catchingavoidable illnesses, and from spreading them to the people around you. Medicarevaccine coverage makes it easy and affordable to stay up to date with yourshots, so you have one less thing to worry about when it comes to your health. Ifyou have questions about eligibility, costs, or whether you should get avaccine, you should consult with your healthcare provider.
Nothing on this website should ever be used as a substitutefor professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medicalprovider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, includingdecisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior toundertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.
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How Much Will It Cost
At this time, Prevnar 20s list price hasnt been announced. However, this vaccine will likely be common for older adults, and its expected that Medicare will cover the bill. Pneumococcal vaccines are a cost-free benefit of Medicare Part B, and people with original Medicare or Medicare Advantage can receive covered pneumococcal vaccines with specific providers.
If you have Medicaid, check with your state Medicaid agency to see which vaccines are offered. Many Medicaid plans pay for some vaccines, but specific coverage varies.
All Health Insurance Marketplace plans and many private plans cover pneumococcal vaccines when provided by an in-network provider, but costs can vary depending on the specific insurance plan.
For people without insurance or adequate coverage, financial assistance and coupon programs may be available. Check back with GoodRx to find more ways to save and make your vaccinations more affordable.
What Vaccines Are Covered By Medicare
The following chart shows how some common vaccines are covered by Medicare.
|Coronavirus 2019||– Part B||You pay nothing for the vaccine, whether you receive 2 shots or only a single dose.|
|Influenza||-Part B||You pay nothing for 1 flu shot per flu season if your doctor accepts Medicare assignment.|
|Pneumococcal||-Part B||You pay nothing for 2 shots if your doctor accepts Medicare assignment.|
|Hepatitis B||-Part B||You pay nothing if youre at medium or high risk for Hepatitis B and your doctor accepts Medicare assignment.|
|-Medicare Advantage plans with drug coverage-Part D||Coverage rules and costs vary by plan.|
|Tetanus||-Medicare Advantage plans with drug coverage-Part D||Coverage rules and costs vary by plan.|
These are only a few of the most commonly recommended vaccines. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have questions about a specific immunization or vaccine that is not listed here.
Medicare Part B also typically covers vaccines after youve potentially been exposed to a dangerous disease or virus. For example, your rabies shot may be covered by Medicare Part B if you are bitten by a dog.
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Where Can I Get Vaccines I Need
You can get most vaccines at a pharmacy, doctors office, clinic or community health center. Talk with your doctor about what vaccines you may need. Your doctor or Part D plan provider can also help you understand whether your cost will be affected by where you go to get the vaccines that your doctor recommends.
Things To Know About The Pneumococcal Vaccine
The pneumococcal vaccine is important for people 65 and older HealthPartners geriatric medicine specialist Dr. von Sternberg explains why.
Theres been a lot of talk lately about vaccines, their safety and whether they really work. One vaccine I always recommend for my older patients is the pneumococcal vaccine. I recently got mine and feel much safer as a result.
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Who Should Get Pneumococcal Vaccines
CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all children younger than 2 years old and all adults 65 years or older. In certain situations, older children and other adults should also get pneumococcal vaccines. Below is more information about who should and should not get each type of pneumococcal vaccine.
Talk to your or your childs doctor about what is best for your specific situation.
Medicare And Pneumonia Vaccinations
There are certain persons who should consider getting vaccinated against pneumococcal infections, as following: babies, people aged over 65 years old, anyone at risk to develop the disease and people suffering from illnesses that make them liable to get infected.
In case you are over 65 years old, this means that you can take advantage of your Medicare insurance plan. But does this cover the costs of the shot or not?
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D Prescription Drug Plans
Part D plans cover most preventive vaccines that you could need to receive. Although Part B covers a few vaccines noted above, most of your vaccine needs will be covered by Part D plans. Part D plans, like Part C plans, are offered by private insurance companies. This means that you will have a provider network as well as a unique formulary that tells you how much each drug-related service will cost.
You wont need a Part D plan to get your pneumococcal vaccine.
Medicare Coverage For The Pneumonia Shot
Part B of Original Medicare does cover the pneumonia vaccine, but there are certain limitations, according to Medicare.gov:
- Medicare Part B covers one shot. Anybody who is enrolled in Part B is entitled to a dose of pneumonia vaccine without having to pay for it if your health-care provider accepts Medicare assignment.
- Under certain circumstances, a doctor may prescribe a second shot of a different typeat least one year after the first dose. Part B may also cover this second dose.
- In either situation described above, you typically wont have out-of-pocket costs as a Part B beneficiary.
In some cases, a doctor may recommend more doses than the amount that Part B pays for. For example, a doctor may suggest a second dose of the PPSV23 vaccine. In this case, its possible that a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan will provide coverage. Otherwise, you might have to pay for these additional services out of pocket. If the cost is a concern, its a good idea to contact Medicare or your Medicare plan to learn how these additional services will be covered or if they will be covered at all.
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What Parts Of Medicare Cover The Vaccine
Many vaccines are covered by Medicare Part D, which offers prescription drug coverage. However, Part D prescription drug coverage usually wont cover something thats already covered by Part B medical insurance. Pneumonia shots are covered by Part B, but remember that many other vaccinations are covered by Part D instead.
Vaccines Covered By Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D covers all commercially available vaccines needed to prevent illness. You can get Part D coverage through a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage.
Vaccines covered by Part D include the following:
- Shingles vaccine: One-time vaccine given in two shots over two to six months
- Tdap vaccine : One shot if youve never been vaccinated, and a booster every ten years
- Other vaccines covered: Vaccines that are “reasonable and necessary” to prevent illness and are not covered by Part B
Part D may also cover vaccines you may need if you are traveling internationally. Talk with your doctor about your travel plans and ask what vaccines are recommended.
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Does Medicare Pay For The Pneumonia Vaccine
Medicare Part B will typically cover your first pneumococcal shot at any time. It will typically cover your second shot as long as it’s given at least one year after your first shot.
Medicare Advantage plans are required by law to offer at least the same benefits as Original Medicare .
This means that if Medicare Part B covers your Prevnar 13 shot, so would a Medicare Advantage plan.
Table 1 Proportion Of Medicare Beneficiaries Aged 65 Years With Claims Submitted For Pneumococcal Vaccination By Age Race/ethnicity And Presence Of Chronic And Immunocompromising Medical Conditions United States September 2017*
* Denominator in each subgroup includes all beneficiaries continuously enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B from September 19, 2016 through September 18, 2017.
Percentage of beneficiaries with at least one claim for 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine since January 1, 1999 through September 18, 2017.
§ Percentage of beneficiaries with at least one claim for 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine since January 1, 1999 through September 18, 2017.
¶ Percentage of beneficiaries with at least one claim for PPSV23 and at least one claim for PCV13 since January 1, 1999 through September 18, 2017.
** Percentage of beneficiaries with at least one claim for PPSV23 or PCV13 since January 1, 1999 through September 18, 2017.
Race/ethnicity was categorized as Hispanic or Latino, black, white, Asian, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and other. Beneficiaries identified as Hispanic or Latino might be of any race. Beneficiaries identified as black, white, Asian, American Indian/Alaskan Native or other race are non-Hispanic. Other includes persons of multiple race. Excludes 3,263,056 beneficiaries with unknown race/ethnicity.
Vaccination by state
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