Flu shot co-pays waived for Medicare beneficiaries this year

Share this content:

Individuals covered under Medicare will be eligible to receive this year's flu shot without co-pays or deductibles, according to health officials.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandates that those with Medicare and private health plans receive flu vaccine coverage, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. This year, a new, higher-dose vaccine will be available to those over 65. The vaccine contains about four-times as much antigen—the “active ingredient” in flu shots—as a normal vaccine. But it remains to be seen if the higher-dose shots will be more effective for seniors. (McKnight's, 5/3/10)

This year, health officials expect that the most hazardous strain of flu circulating the country will be the H3N2 strain, which is linked to more serious disease and death, USA Today reported. The new vaccine will protect against H3N2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection.