Affordable Health Insurance for Flu Season
Every fall, flu season rears its ugly head. September through January are the months when Americans are in the most danger of contracting the flu. Prevention has become even more important with the advent of H1N1 (swine flu). Although most people survive the flu with nothing but momentary discomfort, those with vulnerable immune systems can suffer serious effects, or even death.
One of the most effective protections against contracting the flu is vaccination. Getting vaccinated is quite easy; nowadays, flu shots are available in virtually every doctor’s office, hospital, and clinic. They are even now available in many pharmacies and drugstores! This makes becoming protected more convenient.
More good news: this year, only one shot is required. The standard seasonal flu shot is now combined with the H1N1 vaccine, giving protection from both at the same time. This is cheaper, more convenient, and less painful.
Since preventative care can lead to more affordable health insurance in the long run, many health insurers cover the cost of flu shots. The shot typically costs 35 to 40 dollars. In the future, the Obama administration’s healthcare reform legislation will make it so that preventative treatments–such as flu shots–must be fully paid for by insurance companies, without any out-of-pocket co-payments or co-insurance percentages that discourage people from seeking the vaccine.
Currently, insurers are most likely to cover the vaccine for recommended groups: children over the age of six months and senior citizens. Children, especially, are most likely to spread the flu to family members, fellow daycare attendees, or classmates. You may have to go to an approved in-network clinic or doctor’s office to have your vaccine covered.
For the uninsured, community clinics offer the shots on a sliding scale of prices. However, they may be located in more inconvenient areas or have limited hours.