UPDATE: Please check out this piece on Parade.com for the most up-to-date information on free and cheap flu shots.
Every fall I know when flu season is almost upon us–not only because I’ve gotten my own flu shot, but also because I notice that the search terms that bring people to this blog are all about looking for free and cheap flu shots. Because I’ve written about this topic every year, my site comes up in search engine searches.
In the past week my 2011 free flu shot blog post has been quite popular, but I’m not satisfied to bring you out-of-date information. That’s why I’ve updated for 2012 where you can go for a free or cheap flu shot, with the following 4 tips:
At work. Many companies have wellness programs that include free or discounted immunizations. There is a chance that your job may be having its own free flu shot clinic, or if you have a nurse on staff, maybe you can schedule time with him or her. The best place to check is with your human resources department.
Through your insurance company. According to this Living on the Cheap article on free and cheap flu shots, “Under the federal Affordable Care Act, all insurance plans that were created after March 23, 2010, are required to provide some types of preventive care, including immunizations, for free beginning September 23, 2012.” I know that, because I have asthma, my long-time insurance company allows me to get a flu shot for free every year at the doctor. It is the same for my daughters at the pediatrician. Even those with government-issued insurance, such as Medicare Part B, should be able to get a deal on a flu shot.
At a clinic. Many state, county, and city governments offer flu shot clinics at this time of the year. Some are walk in; others are drive through. Literally, you drive up to a designated place at a designated time, roll down your window, roll up your sleeve, and a nurse gives you a flu shot while you sit in your car. I would recommend searching your local health department using the term “flu shot clinic” to find one year you. Some hospitals and medical centers also have free or discounted shots.
Through drugstores and supermarkets. The out-of-pocket cost for a shot from your druggist may not seem super cheap, but many stores offer some kind of deal as an incentive for you to get a flu shot there, be it low prices or free coupons. Here are 7 stores offering flu shots and deals this fall:
- BI-LO: BI-LO shoppers that enroll for the company’s Discount Pharmacy Card will pay a discounted rate of $24.99 for a flu shot in the store.
- CVS: The store accepts insurance to help offset the $31.99 flu shot price. Also, while supplies last, you’ll get a 20% off shopping pass (except in New Jersey) when you get flu shot.
- Giant Food Stores: You’ll pay $30 for your flu shot, though Giant accepts most major medical insurance, plus Medicare. In exchange, you’ll get a coupon book worth $30, while supplies last.
- Kroger: While you won’t get any free coupons when you get your flu shot at Kroger, you will pay one of the lowest prices for a shot in a store–$25.
- Rite-Aid: You’ll pay $27.99 for a flu shot. The store is giving out a coupon book with $100 worth of store coupons to flu shot recipients, while supplies last. (Again, except in New Jersey.)
- Walgreens: You have the choice of walking in or making an appointment at Walgreens for flu shots. The pharmacy takes most insurances so you may not have any out-of-pocket cost at all.
- Walmart: Not only will you pay only $25 for a flu shot at Walmart, but also you can expect that a registered nurse will be administering your vaccine. In addition, on September 15, 22 and 29, you can also get other free health screenings when you visit Walmart for a flu shot. http://flushotsusa.walmart.com/
- Winn-Dixie: Winn-Dixie shoppers receiving a flu vaccination will receive a coupon book with $15 in savings on products like hand sanitizer, disinfectants and tissues, while supplies last.
If you come across other ways to get free or cheap flu shot deals, please let us know.