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Does My Health Insurance Pay for Flu Shots?

Does My Health Insurance Pay for Flu Shots?

Posted Oct 03, 2016 by Jenifer Dorsey


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.



Paying for flu shots with health insurance

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. 

How to pay for flu shots if you are uninsured

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  

2 Ibid.

3 HealthCare.gov. “Preventive Health Services for Adults.” https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-benefits/adults/

4 Ibid.

5 HealthCare.gov. “Preventive Health Services for Children.” https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-benefits/children/

6 HealthCare.gov. “Grandfathered Health Insurance Plans.” https://www.healthcare.gov/health-care-law-protections/grandfathered-plans/

About The IHC Group
Independence Holding Company (NYSE: IHC) is a holding company that is principally engaged in underwriting, administering and/or distributing group and individual disability, specialty and supplemental health, pet, and life insurance through its subsidiaries since 1980. The IHC Group owns three insurance companies (Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company) and IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc., which is a technology-driven insurance sales and marketing company that creates value for insurance producers, carriers and consumers (both individuals and small businesses) through a suite of proprietary tools and products (including ACA plans and small group medical stop-loss). All products are placed with highly rated carriers.

IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc.
IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc., doing business as Health eDeals Insurance Solutions is a full-service marketing and distribution company that focuses on small employer, individual and consumer products. Health eDeals markets products via general agents online, telebrokerage, advisor centers, private label and directly to consumers. For more information about Health eDeals visit http://www.HealtheDeals.com.