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Medicare coverage of vaccines and immunizations

Section IV.m. Preventive Care Services
Question 14 of 24 (use "Last" or "Next" buttons to see more)

Medicare covers some vaccines and immunizations. The way Medicare covers them depends on which vaccine you need.

Your Medicare Part B will cover vaccines to prevent:

Part B will cover other immunizations only if you have been exposed to a dangerous virus or disease. For example, if you step on a rusty nail, Medicare will cover a tetanus shot; if you are bitten by a dog, Medicare will cover your rabies shots.

All vaccines other than those for the flu, pneumonia or hepatitis B are covered under Medicare Part D. 

Note: Original Medicare covers the influenza, pneumonia, and Hepatitis B vaccines with no coinsurance or deductible if you see a provider who accepts assignment. Providers who accept assignment cannot charge you more than the Medicare approved amount. Medicare Advantage plans will cover all preventive services the same as Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage out-of-pocket costs for vaccines and immunizations will vary depending on the type of shot. Your costs will also vary depending on if you go to an in-network or out-of-network provider.  

If you have a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, you can get coverage for any commercially available vaccine that is not covered by Part B. All Part D plans must include all commercially available vaccines on their formularies, including the vaccine for shingles (herpes zoster). Your Part D plan will pay for the vaccination itself and for your doctor or other health care provider to give you the shot (administration). Before you get a vaccination, you should check coverage rules with your Part D plan and see where you should get your shot so that it will be covered for you at the lowest cost.


This information was provided by the Medicare Rights Center, the largest independent source of health care information and assistance in the United States for people with Medicare. Founded in 1989, Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs and public policy initiatives. You can learn more about Medicare Rights at www.medicarerights.org.
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