First Community Financial Group, Inc. Blog
There’s never been a more critical time than now to protect yourself against the flu. Even with widespread public health initiatives and disease prevention, the flu remains a potent and deadly threat to the American public. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a worldwide health hazard, it’s essential to do all you can to prevent any instance of illness, the flu included.
Fortunately, the flu vaccine provides powerful, accessible protection against this widespread seasonal illness. Even if you’ve never had the flu, that doesn’t mean you are immune to it. This simple immunization serves as one of the best and most surefire disease prevention mechanisms this flu season.
Getting a Flu Shot? Use Your Insurance!
The Affordable Care Act requires most health insurance plans to cover a yearly flu vaccine as a preventative service. The flu vaccine is crucial in disease control and prevention. Under the law, insurers must cover these items at no cost to the insured patient.
Use caution when verifying your insurance coverage for a flu vaccine. You may have to follow specific insurance regulations to get a free shot, and some older plans still might not cover the cost of the vaccine in full. For example, you might have to visit a particular provider within your insurance network to receive the vaccine.
State health departments and other regulators have put various programs in place to help uninsured and underinsured individuals get flu shots. Contact your insurer or your local health department to see if you qualify for a free or reduced-cost vaccine.
Getting the Vaccine and Preventing the Flu
Before receiving your flu vaccine, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Get the most updated vaccine. To ensure you receive full coverage for your flu shot, make sure you’re getting the correct vaccine. The flu vaccine changes from year to year, so always get the most recent version.
Ask which shot your insurer covers. For example, one form of the flu vaccine, the flu mist, was a non-shot alternative to the traditional immunization. However, questions about the reliability of this method have caused many insurers to drop coverage for the mist. If your insurer is one of them, you may only qualify for a free vaccine if you get the traditional shot.
Plan to get your flu shot early in the season. It is best to get your flu shot earlier in the flu season. The flu vaccine usually takes full effect a couple of weeks after you get the shot. If you’re already sick, you won’t benefit from it. So, make sure you’re healthy, and then get the shot when it first becomes available.
Prepare for mild symptoms. After getting the vaccine, you may experience mild symptoms, such as headaches, fever and lethargy. This is normal as the vaccine takes effect in your body and your immune system begins to produce antibodies. The symptoms should diminish within two to three days of receiving the shot.
We have answers to your questions on health insurance coverage for flu shots. Contact our agency today for more information.