Flu Shots: Your Best Bet for Reduced Prescription Use and Cost Savings at your Convenience
It may feel early to think about flu season, but now is actually the perfect time to prepare yourself. At the peak of flu season—which can kick off in October but is strongest between December and March—about six percent of all doctors’ visits are related to the flu. The good news is that, for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network members, getting your flu shot is about to become easier than ever.
Starting October 1, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network will offer expanded coverage at more pharmacies for vaccines such as:
- The flu shot
- Shingles vaccination
- Pneumonia immunization
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination
- Meningitis vaccination
- Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Acellular Pertussis)
What does that mean for you? In short, you’ll be able to get your flu shot (and other preventive vaccines) at a local pharmacy and most members will have no copay. So instead of scheduling an appointment with your doctor, you can visit your pharmacy at a time that works with your schedule.
This change applies to members with our pharmacy coverage. Members with just our medical coverage must still utilize Michigan Immunizing Pharmacies.
Getting a regular flu shot, in particular, is an essential part of staying well through every season. An annual flu shot lowers your risk of becoming infected with the strain of the virus that experts believe will be most common this year and it helps prevent the spread of the flu People who got a flu shot are usually about 20 percent less likely to seek medical care from a doctor for the flu than those who don’t, according to the CDC. And by not getting sick, you’ll save time and money (on top of just feeling better).
If you’re ready for your annual flu shot, be sure to first discuss it with a pharmacist or your primary care physician. The CDC only recommends injectable flu shots for the upcoming flu season (as opposed to previously endorsed nasal sprays), so your pharmacist or doctor will be able to confirm if the shot is right for you and the best way to receive it.
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Photo credit: Noodles and Beef