Medicare Covers Many Vaccines for Free!

Great news! Because of a prescription drug law that went into effect January 1, 2023, your Medicare Part D drug plan will cover the cost of most vaccines. All adult vaccines that are recommended by the CDC are covered with no out-of-pocket costs to you. Medicare Part B also covers a few vaccines at no cost to you as well.

Vaccines covered by Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B covers some vaccines as part of your preventative benefits.

Vaccines include the following:

  • Flu vaccine: Your yearly vaccine given before or during flu season. You usually would receive this in the fall.
  • Pneumonia vaccine: This vaccine is given in two shots at least one year apart.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine: One-time vaccine given in two to four shots over a period of one to six months.

Vaccines covered by Medicare Part D

 Medicare Part D covers all available vaccines needed to prevent illness. You can get Part D coverage through a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) or a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) that includes drug coverage.

Some Vaccines covered by Part D include the following:

  • Shingles vaccine: One-time vaccine given in two shots. This done over a two-to-six-month period.
  • Tdap vaccine(tetanus***, diphtheria and pertussis/whooping cough): One shot if you’ve never been vaccinated. You can receive a booster shot every ten years afterwards.
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine RSV is a respiratory virus that causes cold-like symptoms. Usually individuals who are 65 and older are at high risk of having serious health complications from RSV.

*** Tetanus Treatment vs. Prevention         If you receive a tetanus vaccination because of a puncture wound, Medicare Part B would cover the vaccine.  If you receive a tetanus booster shot and it is not due to an injury or illness, it would be covered by your Medicare Part D plan.

Where can I get vaccines?

You can get most vaccines at your pharmacy or doctor’s office. Always talk with your doctor about which vaccines are right for you.