Q: May I go to the Emergency Room if I have the flu?

A: Yes you may but you’ll pay for it big time.  Most medical insurance carriers will charge a “facility fee” if you go to the ER and are not admitted or do not have surgery.  That fee is in addition to your deductible.  Medicare advantage plans charge a flat fee for a visit to the ER.  When shopping around for health insurance quotes be sure to find out about ER facility fees.

Q: Will my medical insurance pay for my flu shots?

A: Most individual medical insurance plans do offer free flu shots if you have preventive care with your medical insurance plan. For those with a medical plan without preventive care copays for flu shots usually run somewhere between $0 to $10 or $15.  Check around in your local community.  Some drug store chains offer free flu vaccinations to the unemployed.  Large chain stores like Publix offer flu shots at a greatly reduced price.

Q: What exactly is a flu shot?

A: From the CDC “The “flu shot” – an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm.  The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.”  Make sure that when searching for health insurance quotes you know if your plan will cover preventive care which is usually how flu shots will be covered.

Q:When do medical insurance plans recommend I get a flu shot?

A: Medical insurance plans recommend that folks get their seasonal flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available usually around October and before December.  Flu season usually lasts from October through May. The vaccine may be available as early as August.  A new vaccine is formulated every year specific to that year.

Q: Where should I go to get vaccinated?

A: If you have medical insurance be sure to go to an in-network provider.  You will pay an office visit copay or nothing if your medical insurance pays for preventive care.

Q: I am pregnant.  Should I get vaccinated?

A: First, congratulations and hopefully your medical insurance covers pregnancy.  Also, if you are thinking about having a baby make sure you get maternity coverage when getting health insurance quotes.  Pregnant women should absolutely get a flu shot because they could be at high risk for having serious flu-related complications.

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