The flu shot might cost $0 if you have insurance or live in certain areas.
You’ve likely heard that the flu shot has many benefits, such as lowering your risk of serious illness, hospitalization, or even death. Your doctor is encouraging you to get the flu shot before Thanksgiving. You’re considering it—but how much does the flu shot actually cost?
Can I Get the Flu Vaccine for Free?
Free is everyone’s favorite number, and luckily, the flu shot is available to many people at no cost. This includes:
- Most people with health insurance: Many health insurance plans allow you to get the flu shot at no cost. You can check your plan’s information or call an insurance representative to learn if your plan covers the flu shot.
- Anyone with a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace: The Marketplace is the name for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA guarantees a free annual flu shot.
- People with Medicare Part B: A free annual flu shot is included with this plan.
- Many college students: Colleges and universities often provide free flu shot clinics to all students in order to reduce the risk of an outbreak on campus.
- Veterans: Military veterans should be able to get a free flu shot from a nearby VA healthcare facility.
- People in certain cities or counties: This one’s vague, but certain parts of the country make flu shots free for citizens. That’s because flu outbreaks cause a tremendous burden on a community, and investing in vaccines saves money, resources, and lives. To find out about free flu shots in your area, check your local or state health department website.
How Much Does the Flu Shot Cost Otherwise?
The typical price for a flu shot (if you’re not eligible to get one for free) is between $20 to $40. The cost of the senior dose flu shot is around $60 to $70.
The price varies depending on where you get the vaccine. While some pharmacies charge around $40, places like CostCo offer the shot for a lower price. Plus, some stores offer special deals if you get the flu shot at their location. You may get a gift card to use in the store, for example. It may be worth it to check a few different places in your area and compare prices so that you can find the best deal.
Finally, if you have health insurance but it doesn’t cover the cost of a flu shot, know that the vaccine is eligible to be reimbursed with funds from a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), if you have one. (Learn about the difference between an HSA and FSA here.)
Still unsure where to get a free or low-cost flu shot? Talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may have suggestions based on your area and personal factors.