Flu season has arrived. And while activity has been low so far, experts say that now's the time to get vaccinated if you haven't already — ideally before October is over.
Flu shots are covered by Medicare Part B, health insurance marketplace plans, most private insurers and Medicaid in most states. You don't need to head to the doctor's office either — many drugstores, supermarkets and other retail locations accept insurance, meaning you pay nothing out of pocket (though it's never a bad idea to call your insurer to double-check).
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For those without insurance coverage, the cost is still relatively low, typically around $30 or $40 for the standard flu shot at the following locations. Some even offer coupons or a gift card as a reward.
- Wholesale Clubs: Sam’s Club and Costco both offer the vaccine — no membership required!
- Drugstores: Stop by your nearest Walgreens, CVS or Rite Aid
- Supermarkets and chain grocers: Walmart, Target, Kroger, Safeway and Publix (among others) — are another option
Exact prices and availability may vary by location, so call ahead or check online for details. If you want to avoid a retailer, your employer or state or county health department may also offer the vaccine on a limited basis. Federally funded health centers may provide vaccines on a sliding scale based on income, according to the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), which provides an online map to find a location near you.
You may also use the Flu Vaccine Finder provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to find a flu shot provider — including those offering specific types of the vaccine — near you.