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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Vaccinations > Flu Shot

Flu Shot Cost


How Much Does a Flu Shot Cost?

 
average costMedium: Often covered by insurancehigh costHigh: $5-$30
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  Typical costs:
  • The cost of flu shots varies by location, but usually ranges between $5 and $30.
  • Many health insurance plans cover flu shots as part of a wellness plan. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina covers flu shots for members who have preventive care benefits. Flu shots are free for Medicare recipients, unless the provider charges more than Medicare reimburses.
  • For those with health insurance, out-of-pocket expenses typically range from zero to a copay of $10 or $15.
Related articles: Travel Vaccinations, Teeth Cleaning, Mammogram, Colonoscopy, Blood Tests

What should be included:
  • The flu shot, which usually is injected into the arm, contains inactive virus for the three strains of influenza expected to be most common that year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[1] offers an FAQ on flu shots.
Additional costs:
  • In addition to the flu shot, pneumonia shots also are recommended for anyone 65 or older and people with chronic illnesses or immunosuppression. Pneumonia shots often are covered by health insurance for high-risk individuals; otherwise, they usually cost slightly more than flu shots, ranging from $10 to $40 or more.
Discounts:
  • Some drugstores offer limited-time flu shot discounts of $5 or more off.
  • Some employers offer free or discounted flu shots to their employees.
Shopping for a flu shot:
  • Flu shots can be obtained through a doctor's office or health clinic. Also, many drugstores, some supermarkets and some community organizations offer them. The American Lung Association[2] offers a flu shot locator by zip code.
  • A nasal flu vaccine is available for healthy people age 5 to 49, who are not pregnant.
  • Anyone who wants to reduce chances of getting the flu can be vaccinated. However vaccinations are strongly recommended for anyone at risk for flu-related complications, as well as anyone who lives with or cares for them.
  • People who are allergic to eggs, have had allergic reactions to flu shots in the past, have a fever or have a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome should consult a doctor before getting a flu shot. Side effects of the flu shot can include soreness or redness at the site of the shot, a low-grade fever, aches and, in rare cases, an allergic reaction.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Flu shots
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: T. in Oak Harbor, WA.Posted: October 17th, 2013 02:10PM
Location: Island Drug PharmacyInsurance Carrier: Regency Blue
Type of Policy: FEP
Both my wife and I got the shot. Medicare covered mine, and Regency Blue Cross of Seattle WA. covered hers.
We have gotten the shots for years now and they have been completely covered by our insurance.
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Flu shot
Amount: $15.00
Posted by: George Eager in Charlottesville, VA.Posted: September 27th, 2013 05:09PM
Location: Waynesboro VAInsurance Carrier: Horizon Blue Cross / BS
Type of Policy: Family
Paid the same $15 co-pay as always, and got flu shot, blood work, and consult with my doc about a rash. My insurance is NJ State Retirees plan and I am so glad I've got it!Thank you, NJ taxpayers & Gov Christy!
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Cherokee, AL Clinic
Amount: $83.00
Posted by: lilyred in Cherokee, AL.Posted: April 4th, 2013 11:04AM
Location: Cherokee, ALInsurance Carrier: Coventry Healthcare
Got flu shot in NP office, charged me $30 cash and bill my ins. $53, which they paid. I thought I was paying for the shot, dumb me. THey billed the ins., also. Will go to drug store and pay cash next time.
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Price Chopper Pharmacy - not covered by NYSHIP Empire Plan
Amount: $30.00
Posted by: BetsyB in Plattsburgh, NY.Posted: January 22nd, 2013 05:01AM
Location: Plattsburgh, NYInsurance Carrier: NYSHIP Empire Plan
Type of Policy: PPO
It would have been covered at the doctor's office, but I don't believe they offer it because it needs specific storage. Why doesn't health insurance cover vaccines from the pharmacy?
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In all seriousness
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: marcus starman in overland park, KS.Posted: January 21st, 2013 01:01AM
Location: NoneInsurance Carrier: Self
Type of Policy: Self
From the top of this page: The flu shot contains inactive virus for the three strains of influenza expected to be most common that year.

"Expected"...wow in the world is that calculated?

Also, from the CDC site the article points to: How effective is the flu shot?
The ability of a flu vaccine to protect a person depends on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine, and the similarity or match between the viruses or virus in the vaccine and those in circulation.

Translation: we have no idea how effective it is.

Nice.
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Novant Medical Group - with BCBS-NC
Amount: $75.00
Posted by: Henry B in Charlotte, NC.Posted: January 17th, 2013 02:01PM
Location: Novant Medical GroupInsurance Carrier: BCBS of NC
Have two children - got their flu shots for $26 a piece, then was charged a fee of $49 a piece for some medical coding you can't even make out. Novant Medical Group - once again sticking it to the public!
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Low Cost Flu Shot
Amount: $123.00
Posted by: Lori K-M in Sparks, NV.Posted: January 17th, 2013 01:01PM
Location: Walmart Clinic Sparks NVInsurance Carrier: CIGNA
Type of Policy: Open Access
St. Mary's clinic inside Walmart offered $27 shots in October. Offered to pay cash, they insisted on using my insurance. Paid $25 copay. Insurance company was billed $76 to give me the shot, $47 for the shot itself. Both denied. So now I have a bill from St. Mary's for $123. And I still got the flu.
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Flu Shot
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Cutiepie in West Hollywood, CA.Posted: January 15th, 2013 09:01AM
Location: Target West HollywoodInsurance Carrier: Anthem
Type of Policy: HMO
Free flu shot with Anthem HMO at Target but they do not administer the shot for kids under 9 years old.
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Flu Shot - No Insurance
Amount: $25.00
Posted by: TomD in Garner, NC.Posted: January 13th, 2013 08:01PM
Location: Nextcare Urgent CareInsurance Carrier: None
Type of Policy: None
Nextcare Urgent Care Centers offers the flu shot for $25. I don't have insurance but they do accept a number of health plans. Limited locations in only the following states - AZ, CO, NC, OH, OK, TX, & VA
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Hong Kong / Matilda Hospital Outpatient
Amount: $34.70
Posted by: a user in Hong Kong, Other.Posted: January 12th, 2013 02:01AM
Location: Hong KongInsurance Carrier: none
The cost of the vaccine was $21.93 and the other bit was for the procedure.
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flu shot
Amount: $50.00
Posted by: jdem615 in Auburn, AL.Posted: January 10th, 2013 11:01AM
Location: Auburn Ped. and Adult MedInsurance Carrier: Medicare
I can't believe they charged 20.00 for the shot, which that was okay.They charged 30.00, more than the shot itself just for injecting it!!! They did not even tell me about that charge!! Thank goodness I didn't let them give me a shot for pain!! I can only imagine what that would have been. SOOOOO UNPROFESSIONAL not to foreclose this information to patients so they have a choice.
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Cost of Flu Vaccination
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Ebenezer in Parsippany, NJ.Posted: January 9th, 2013 01:01PM
Location: Parsippany NJInsurance Carrier: None
Type of Policy: NA
I just walked out of the Walgreen Pharmacy in Parsippany New Jersey. They were going to charge me $ 37. I have no health insurance so cost is important to me.It is shameful that they take advantage of senior citizens.
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Flu Shot at CVS
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Annie T. in Studio City, CA.Posted: December 6th, 2012 06:12PM
Location: CVSInsurance Carrier: Cigna
Type of Policy: PPO
The pediatrician wanted to charge me $40 for the flu shot for my son. They told me that they don't bill the insurance for this vaccine and I had to pay the full amount. I opted out and went to CVS instead. They accepted my insurance and I had no co-pay. In addition, I was given a 20% off shopping pass for getting the flu shot.
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Flu shot - not covered
Amount: $36.99
Posted by: Vinnie in Neptune, NJ.Posted: November 30th, 2012 09:11AM
Location: WalgreensInsurance Carrier: Cigna
Type of Policy: PPO
Not covered at Walgreens. I also opted for the intradermal, which might me more expensive.
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Community special
Amount: $1.00
Posted by: a user in San Francisco, CA.Posted: November 20th, 2012 10:11AM
Location: YMCAInsurance Carrier: None
Type of Policy: None
Heard about his from the YMCA group exercise instructor. This is the first time I heard about this and I have been a Y-member for 5+ years. $1 suggested donation. I'm sure the Y will appreciate if you can afford to donate more.
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Flu Shot At Physician\'s Office
Amount: $85.00
Posted by: Moi in Decatur, GA.Posted: November 13th, 2012 04:11AM
Location: Doctor\'s OfficeInsurance Carrier: BlueCrossBlueShield-Illinois
Type of Policy: POS
Went to the Dr. for my yearly flu shot. And two weeks later received a summary of services from my insurance carrier with 2 charges on it and one from the doctor's office for a co-pay. Called the doctors office to find out why I was charged for 2 immunizations and was told: $35.00 was for administration charges, $30.00 for the drug and $20.0 co-pay, which equals $85.00 for a flu shot. No wonder insurance costs are sky-high.
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Flu Shot at CVS
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: TJean in Westwego, LA.Posted: October 26th, 2012 10:10AM
Location: Westwego, LAInsurance Carrier: Cigna
Type of Policy: PPO
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Flu Shot at Walgreen's
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Oliviac2 in Baton Rouge, LA.Posted: October 22nd, 2012 09:10AM
Location: Baton Rouge, LAInsurance Carrier: Cigna
Type of Policy: LSU First
Only waited about 15 minutes. Easy in and out with good customer service.
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Free Flu Shots For Veterans With Photo ID At Local Drug Stores/Stores
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: a user in Grimsley, TN.Posted: October 13th, 2012 06:10AM
Location: Insurance Carrier: Veterans
Type of Policy: Veterans
Why can't all the local drug stores and stores offer free flu shots to our Veterans that all have a photo ID. So many have to travel 100 miles to the local clinic or VA Hospital just for a shot that maybe takes 5 minutes....
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Flu shot
Amount: $146.00
Posted by: Jacket in Katy, TX.Posted: September 4th, 2012 05:09PM
Location: Katy Memorial Hermann HospitalInsurance Carrier: Medicare
Hospital charged Medicare $146.00 for my flu shot. No wonder Medicare is in trouble.
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sloan kettering
Amount: $38.37
Posted by: carolb in massapequa park, NY.Posted: December 27th, 2011 02:12PM
Location: rockville centerInsurance Carrier: empire blue cross
Type of Policy: ppo
empire did not cover shot because it was given by oncoligist during a visit but they consider the office visit a HOSPITAL facility?????? i was not informed that it was not covered..........
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Kaiser Flu Shot
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: sasha culver in Modesto, CA.Posted: October 14th, 2011 02:10PM
Location: Kaiser building Modesto, CAInsurance Carrier: Kaiser
Free ONLY if you have Kaiser insurance AND go to a Kaiser facility to get the shot. Otherwise have to pay out of pocket expense. Tried my local Walgreens and they said not covered and would be $31. So drove 14 miles to Kaiser for free one. Easy in and out and friendly people.
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Target-shot given by pharmacist not RN
Amount: $25.00
Posted by: angeleyes in Mays Landing, .Posted: September 20th, 2011 05:09PM
Location: Mays Landing, NJInsurance Carrier: none
Strange setup, receptionist didn't know how to handle, had to wait 30 mins because they were busy and then they had the pharmacist give the needle where everywhere else I've ever had the flu shot it was given by a RN. Guess next year I'll have to go back to the clinic, not fun.
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Target NOT in-network with BCBSNC!
Amount: $24.00
Posted by: CarolinaGirl in Raleigh, NC.Posted: December 7th, 2010 08:12PM
Location: Target @ NH in RaleighInsurance Carrier: BCBSNC
Type of Policy: Blue Options
Don't get your flu shot at Target if you have Blue Cross...while the pharmacy is in-network, the pharmacists who administer the vaccines are not. In my opinion, all flu shots should be covered at 100% as they are preventive care and ultimately save insurance companies money, but Blue Cross has found a way around covering mine. I went to Target because that is where I get all my prescription drugs and it is an in-network pharmacy. I was not aware that the the insurance company classifies the vaccine as a medical service, not a drug, and the provider is the pharmacist, and that pharmacists at in-network pharmacies can be out-of-network providers. Very frustrating! Poor customer service from both BCBSNC and Target for not making this loophole clear to subscribers/customers before they get the vaccine! It's only $24, but given the expensive premiums I pay for insurance coverage, this preventive service should be paid at 100%.
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Flu shot denied
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: katiel in henderson, NC.Posted: December 6th, 2010 09:12AM
Location: Henderson NCInsurance Carrier: Humana
My PCP is only offering flu shots to medicaid patients and not to private insurances
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FLu Shot
Amount: $24.00
Posted by: ChiTownGirl in Chicago, IL.Posted: October 15th, 2010 04:10PM
Location: TargetInsurance Carrier:
Flu shots at all Target pharmacy's are $24.00
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YMCA
Amount: $15.00
Posted by: yangzi in Indianapolis, IN.Posted: April 21st, 2010 10:04AM
Location: IndianapolisInsurance Carrier: Cigna
I have gotten flu shots at my local YMCA for $15 before insurance. It's usually around $20-25 for a flu shot at elsewhere.
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Flu shot
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: a user in Raleigh, NC.Posted: November 12th, 2009 01:11PM
Veterans need to remember they can get their shots at no cost through a VA hospital or clinic.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/flushot.htm
  2.  www.lung.org/lung-disease/influenza/flu-vaccine-finder/
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