Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers one flu shot each flu season and will cover additional flu shots if they’re deemed medically necessary.

Because flu season usually lasts from fall to spring, this could mean that you get two flu shots in one year — but in different flu seasons — and both shots are covered.

Costs

There are no costs for a flu shot under Original Medicare, as long as the health care provider accepts Medicare assignment for the shot. That means there’s no deductible and no coinsurance.

Medicare Advantage plans must provide at least as much coverage as Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, so they also cover one flu shot per season at no cost. But you may have to see a doctor in the plan’s network to be covered.

Should you get a flu shot?

Vaccination for the flu is recommended if you’re at higher risk of developing serious health complications from the flu. This group includes:

  • People 65 and older.

  • People with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

  • Pregnant women.

  • People with HIV/AIDS.

  • People with cancer.

What are flu shot side effects?

Side effects from the flu shot are typically mild, but they may include headache, fever, nausea, fatigue, muscle aches and redness, soreness and/or swelling at the injection site.

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