UPDATE: Please check out this piece on Parade.com for the most up-to-date information on free and cheap flu shots.
Every morning when I wake up with the news and then every evening when I catch up on the day’s news, there is a story about the 2013 flu season. People are saying that the flu outbreak is reaching epidemic proportions and that illnesses are coming on at a rate that experts haven’t ever seen before.
At the same time that these news programs are warning us about the severity of the 2013 flu season, they are also reminding viewers that it is still not too late to get a flu shot.
As an asthmatic I got my flu shot in August. For someone like myself, earlier is better because any illness I get that travels to my chest could end up as pneumonia.
As a blog owner, I see what is driving traffic to Suddenly Frugal. And for the past few weeks, it has been people searching for ways to get free and cheap flu shots. In fact, a post on how to get free and cheap flu shots in 2012 is quickly becoming the most read post on my blog.
Now that it’s 2013 I figured it was time to revisit the topic of flu shots and see if I couldn’t uncover some new, different and/or updated information on how you can get a flu shot discount. Here’s what I found:
- Flu Shot Discount Coupon: This coupon from Life Source Direct, a clearinghouse of insurance agents and information, allows you to save 30 percent on a flu shot at the retailers listed on the coupon. This includes flu shots at CVS, Costco, Kroger, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid. This seems to be a free coupon and one that anyone can use, not just customers of this insurance provider.
- Free Coupons with a Flu Shot: Many chain pharmacies are offering free coupon books–some worth more than $100 in savings–when you pay for a flu shot. At Rite Aid, flu shots cost $29.99 and you qualify for a free coupon booklet that offers over $100 in savings on products sold in its store, while supplies last. I’d heard that Walgreens also had a coupon book last fall that flu shot participants–or anyone in the store–could pick up. It was for $30 worth of coupons. I’d check by the pharmacy to see if they are still available, whether or not you’ve stopped into Walgreens for a flu shot.
- Free Shopping Pass or Discount with a Flu Shot: CVS Pharmacies offer customers a 20 percent off shopping pass and discount on the day they get a flu shot at one of their stores with an immunizing pharmacist on duty. (You may want to call ahead to confirm he/she is available and has flu shots available.) Unfortunately, customers in Arkansas, New Jersey and New York are not eligible for this flu shot discount shopping pass. Safeway Supermarkets were offering a 10 percent off shopping pass for customers who walked in for a flu shot this past fall. If you live near or shop at Safeway, I would check to see if this offer is still good.
- Free Flu Shot for Medicare Part B Participants. In most instances Americans who have Medicare Part B don’t have to pay for their flu shot, regardless of what a pharmacy or doctor’s office is charging. However, if you are a Medicare Part B participant, check with your plan administrator first before rolling up your sleeve for your flu shot.
- Free Flu Shot Through Your Employer: Be sure to check with your human resources department to see if they might be holding yet another flu shot clinic that allows employees to get flu shots for free or at a discount. At the same time find out if your current insurance plan allows you go to a pharmacy like CVS or a supermarket like Kroger and get a free flu shot, as employees of Emory University can do.