Medicare Part B and Part D cover most vaccines and immunizations. It’s important to understand which part of Medicare covers which vaccines.
Vaccines covered by Medicare Part B
Part B covers specific vaccinations including the seasonal flu shot, pneumonia, and Hepatitis B. Below are the standard regiments for these vaccines per the CDC:
- Flu vaccine: Annual vaccine given in one shot before or during flu season, usually November through April
- Pneumonia vaccine: One-time vaccine given in two shots at least one year apart
- Hepatitis B vaccine: One-time vaccine given in two to four shots recommended for people with high risk factors.
Part B also covers the COVID – 19 vaccine including boosters with no cost-sharing. Here is more information about COVID vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html
Finally, Part B covers any vaccines necessary after a potentially dangerous exposure—like a rabies or tetanus shot. A Medicare supplement may cover any remaining balance for the shot.
Vaccines covered by Medicare Part D
The Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program covers other vaccines recommended by your provider (that aren’t already covered by Part B) for illness prevention. Most notably Shingles and Tdap.
Below are the standard regiments for these vaccines per the CDC:
- Shingles vaccine: One-time vaccine given in two shots over two to six months
- Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis/whooping cough): One shot if you’ve never been vaccinated, and a booster every ten years
Part D may also cover vaccines that are “reasonable and necessary” to prevent illness and are not covered by Part B. These may include vaccines you may need if traveling internationally. Talk with your doctor about your travel plans and ask what vaccines are recommended.
Where Do I Go? You can get most vaccines at a pharmacy, doctor’s office, clinic, or community health center. Talk with your doctor first about the vaccines recommended for you.
Latest: Beginning January 1, 2023, patients with Medicare Part D drug plans will not have any out-of-pocket costs for these vaccines per the Inflation Reduction Act. Regardless of the Part D plan you have, a Medicare beneficiary will no longer pay a deductible or copay.