October may bring a new chill to the air, and a host of beautiful fall activities may beckon your family. But as we enter this golden time, certain seasonal hazards are beginning to develop. Fall brings new illness risks, including the dreaded onset of flu season.
Influenza used to be a very deadly, epidemic disease. Nowadays, its dangers are still very potent. However, the development of the seasonal flu vaccine has helped greatly control the prevalence of flu. For this reason, most insurance plans offer valuable coverage for flu shots.
Why You Need Your Seasonal Flu Shots
The flu can strike at any time. However, doctors typically see increased cases from the early fall until the late spring. Seasonal flu shots usually become available from physicians, clinics, drug stores and a variety of other outlets during the late summer or early fall. All Americans should receive a flu shot every year. The most prevalent strains of flu change from season to season. Therefore, the flu vaccines change from year to year to adapt to the changing virus.
Professionals highly recommend vaccinations for those who have high risks for catching the flu. These may include the elderly, young children and those with chronic illness. Individuals who work in close personal contact with others may also be at higher risk.
Even individuals outside these categories can protect themselves by getting a flu shot. Some people forego a flu shot because they mistakenly believe that they’ve never had the flu, so they don’t need a shot. No one is immune from this disease. Americans should get the vaccine even if they have never had the flu before.
Using Health Insurance to Get a Flu Shot
Most healthcare providers and insurance agencies recognize the importance of flu vaccines. Therefore, most health insurance plans offer full coverage for flu shots.
Affordable Care Act marketplace plans and most private insurance policies classify flu shots as preventative health benefits. Most health policies to cover these services at no cost to policyholders. Most Medicare and Medicaid also plans cover flu shots at no cost to the insured. However, be sure you verify with your insurer whether a plan fully covers this benefit. If it doesn't fully cover the shot, you may still be able to receive one following a nominal co-payment.
For safety, before getting a flu shot, talk to your physician. Flu shots still may pose risks to certain patients. Physicians can recommend how best to vaccinate you for your own optimal safety.
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