Speak to an advisor1-888-855-6837
While flu season may peak between September and February, it typically runs from October through May.1 That means it’s time to start thinking about a flu shot.
The CDC recommends that people get their flu shots as soon as the vaccine becomes available—typically in October.2 It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop and provide protection.
Not only is getting your annual flu vaccination a way to help protect you and others from certain flu viruses, it is also a way to take advantage of your Obamacare health insurance benefits.
Influenza immunization vaccines (i.e., flu shots) are among the preventive services covered at no extra cost under the Affordable Care Act —ACA-qualified health plans include certain shots and screenings that cost you nothing beyond your monthly premium.3 These Obamacare benefits apply to children and adults.4,5
Check with your health insurance plan to verify it will pay for flu vaccines. While major medical health insurance plans sold on and away from the Health Insurance Marketplace are required to include certain free preventive services, such as flu shots, other health plans may not. For instance, grandfathered health plans are not required to do so.6 When in doubt, call your carrier’s member services department to confirm your health benefits.
If your family does not have health insurance or has health insurance that does not cover flu shots, there are programs for uninsured or underinsured children. You can also check with your state health department for free- or low-cost flu shot resources and look for free flu shot offerings in your area. Comparison shopping can also help you get the best rate; call around to different pharmacies and grocery stores that offer flu shots to see what they charge.
Visit vaccines.gov to locate flu shots near you, and click on your state for immunization information in your area.
Originally published October 6, 2016.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “What You Should Know for the 2015-2016 Influenza Season.” Last updated Aug. 25, 2015. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2015-2016.htm
3 HealthCare.gov. “Preventive Care Benefits for Adults.” Accessed May 23, 2018. https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-adults/
5 HealthCare.gov. “Preventive Care Benefits for Children.” Accessed May 23, 2018. https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-children/
6 HealthCare.gov. “Grandfathered Health Insurance Plans.” https://www.healthcare.gov/health-care-law-protections/grandfathered-plans/