It’s that time of year again—no, not the holidays, but that time of year where the flu and other illness start to come around. Kids are back in school, people are more likely to stay inside, and germs seem to spread a lot more easily. If you’re over 65 and are covered by Medicare, what should you know about vaccinations for diseases like influenza?
Why do you need to get vaccinated, anyway? First and foremost, vaccines can help prevent the spread of contagious diseases, and you’ll reduce the chance that you’ll pass on a serious disease to your loved ones, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some people may not be able to get certain vaccines based on health conditions or other factors, so by getting a vaccine, you can help protect those who can’t get vaccinated.
If you happen to travel a lot for business or pleasure, it can put you at risk for certain diseases. Making sure you are vaccinated will help keep you away from certain health risks!
To sum it up: As people age, they may be at higher risk of complications. Vaccines are a safe and effective way to help people stay healthy, prevent illness, and even save lives.
If you are covered with Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A & B), you should be able to receive vaccinations under Part B. The vaccines that are included are:
- Influenza (flu),
- Hepatitis B,
- and Pneumococcal shots.
These vaccines listed above need to be done at your doctor’s office, but normally they don’t allow this to be done during a wellness visit. Check with your specific provider’s office to find out when and what shots you need to receive.
Other vaccines that are not listed above can be covered as well, but under Medicare Part D (once again, it’s best to find out from your provider what shots are covered under Medicare Part D).
If you live in an adult community, it’s normally not required, but many times these communities hold free vaccination days and highly recommend that you get vaccinated!
Other vaccines you should talk to your health care provider about receiving if you are over the age of 65 are:
- Tetanus boosters every ten years;
- shingles vaccine, even if you have had the shingles before;
- and chickenpox, if you did not get it when you were a child.
Read more about adult vaccinations from the CDC here.
Read the CDC’s 2017 Recommended Immunizations for Adults: By Age here (PDF download).