As the 2013-2014 influenza season quickly approaches, now is an opportune time to send reminders and schedule appointments for patients’ flu vaccinations. Seniors and people with chronic health conditions—like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease—are at a higher risk for serious complications from the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last season overall deaths attributed to flu and pneumonia were the highest in nearly a decade, and people 65 years and older accounted for half of all flu-related hospitalizations. Recommending and offering flu vaccine to Medicare beneficiaries ahead of the flu season is very crucial, as patients are more likely to get vaccinated when flu vaccination is recommended and offered by a health care professional.
Generally, Medicare Part B covers one influenza vaccination and its administration per influenza season for Medicare beneficiaries without co-pay or deductible. Note: The influenza vaccine and its administration are covered under Medicare Part B. Influenza vaccine is not a Part D-covered drug.
For more information on coverage and billing of the influenza virus vaccine and its administration, please visit:
- CMS Medicare Learning Network® Preventive Services Educational Products and CMS Immunizations web pages. (Check back for CMS 2013-2014 influenza season updates — coming soon to these web pages).
- MLN Matters® Article #MM8433, “Influenza Vaccine Payment Allowances – Annual Update for 2013-2014 Season.”
- While some providers may offer the flu vaccine, others can help their patients locate a vaccine provider within their local community. HealthMap Vaccine Finder is a free, online service where users can search for locations offering flu and other adult vaccines.