What Vaccines Does Medicare Part B Cover?

By: Thomas Wright
Published: Friday, October 19 2018
Last Updated: a month ago

Taking time to learn your coverage for Medicare Part B is essential to know what is available to help you live the healthiest life you can. While not all vaccines on the market are available as basic coverage, you are encouraged to discuss your concerns with your Medicare Provider. In interest of optimal health, your provider may be able to have those vaccines covered for you.

What Vaccines Does Medicare Part B Cover?

In the changing environment of Medicare, it can be challenging to keep up on preventative care to keep yourself healthy. If you have Medicare you are likely to have gone through the process of choosing coverage: Part A, Part B, and Part D. Your Part B coverage is for medical care, and this is where you will find your coverage for certain vaccines to keep yourself healthy.

Always discuss your concerns about preventative health with your medical provider. In certain situations, Medicare Part D can be used to cover non-eligible vaccines if your provider feels it is in the best interest of your health to be given them. Prior to choosing a vaccine electively, always consult with your healthcare provider to ensure you are a good candidate and the vaccine is appropriate for your use.

Vaccines covered by Medicare Part B are the following:

  • Flu shots
  • Hepatitis B shots
  • Pneumococcal shots
  • Tdap shots (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)

Flu Shots

The seasonal flu shot is a vaccine designed to prevent you from contracting the most common strains of influenza prevalent the current flu season. The Flu Shot is only effective for that season and must be repeated each season. Flu shots can be obtained at your provider's office or at local pharmacies.

Coverage, Eligibility, and Costs

You are eligible for one covered flu shot per season, and your cost should be nothing if you are enrolled in Medicare Part B.

Hepatitis B Shots

The Hepatitis B shot series is a vaccine protocol designed to protect you from contracting the illness Hepatitis B. If you have had the series as a young adult your immunity may be lifelong, or lasting as long as 30 years. If you have been given the series a long time ago, your doctor may request that you have a Hepatitis B booster to ensure your ongoing immunity.

Coverage, Eligibility, and Costs

You are eligible for the Hepatitis B vaccines if your provider orders the vaccine for you, and your cost should be nothing if you are enrolled in Part B. Your provider must order the vaccine for it to be covered under Part B.

Pneumococcal Shots

The Pneumococcal shots protect you from a strain of Streptococcus bacteria that can cause serious infection. Most prevalent of these is Pneumococcal pneumonia, a very serious condition. Current recommendations are that all adults over the age of 65 receive two doses of the vaccine, one year apart.

Coverage, Eligibility, and Costs

You are eligible for the Pneumococcal series if your provider orders the vaccine for you and they are given a year apart. Your cost should be nothing if you are enrolled in Part B.

TDAP Shots (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis Shots)

The TDAP shots are a combination series of vaccines that prevent against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, more commonly called whooping cough. Boosters are suggested for tetanus every 10 years. Pertussis boosters are suggested for at-risk individuals or if there are at-risk individuals, such as infants or immunocompromised people in the home.

Coverage, Eligibility, and Costs

You are eligible and covered for the TDAP booster if your provider orders the vaccine for you after a puncture injury if you are at risk for developing the tetanus infection. Your cost should be nothing if you are enrolled in Part B. You will not be covered if you elect to use it for preventative measures only.

Contact A Medicare Representative

If you ever feel unsure about you’re the terms of your coverage, please contact a Medicare Representative for clarity or inquire at your Medicare Provider’s office.