How Much Do Vaccines Cost?
Most health insurance plans cover vaccines for both children and adults, at little to no cost to you. And even if you don’t have insurance, most vaccinations are available for free or at a greatly reduced cost. Learn more about vaccination costs in this high-level guide to the cost of immunizations.
Are Vaccines Covered by Insurance?
According to the CDC, all Health Insurance Marketplace plans as well as most insurance providers are required to cover certain vaccinations for in-network providers at no additional cost, even when the annual deductible has not yet been met. Typically, the following vaccines are covered under most insurance plans:
- Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B
- Herpes Zoster
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
As a reminder, under the Affordable Care Act, parents are able to carry adult children on their insurance plans until they turn 26. Vaccinations for these adult children are also typically covered at no additional cost. Be sure to check with your health insurance provider to find in-network providers for your covered vaccinations.
Are Vaccines Free Under Medicare?
Depending on a person’s level of Medicare coverage, the cost of immunizations may be covered with little to no cost to the patient. Medicare coverage is broken into several parts, each managing specific aspects of a person’s healthcare. Medicare Part B covers the cost of medical care outside of hospitalization, including routine and preventative care. Certain vaccinations are always covered under Medicare Part B, including those against the flu, Hepatitis B and Pneumococcal disease. In some cases, Part B will also cover the vaccination cost for those received after being exposed to a dangerous illness (for example, a tetanus shot after stepping on a rusty nail). Medicare Part D covers the cost of prescription drugs, including most other vaccinations and immunizations, such as the Shingles and Tdap vaccines. The costs for these vaccines will vary depending on the vaccine, the level of Medicare coverage a person has, as well as whether their provider accepts Medicare.
How Much Do Vaccinations Cost Under Medicaid?
While Medicaid coverage varies greatly from state to state, in many cases Medicaid does provide at least some coverage for vaccination costs for children. All children younger than 21 who are eligible for Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) are able to receive all vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) at no cost. Similarly, the Vaccines for Children (VCF) program covers the cost of immunizations for children enrolled in Medicaid, the uninsured or underinsured, and American Indian or Alaska Natives through the age of 18. Providers charge a small fee for the administration of these vaccines. For those enrolled in Medicaid, these fees are covered. For the uninsured or underinsured, these administration fees are charged to the parents. These fees vary by state.
Most state Medicaid agencies also provide coverage for at least some adult immunizations, but not necessarily at ACIP standards. For example, the ACIP recommends every person older than 6 months of age receive the influenza vaccine, but not all state Medicaid agencies cover the cost of immunizations against the flu. Contact your state Medicaid agency to learn more about your state’s vaccination coverage.
How Much Do Vaccines Cost Without Insurance?
For those without health insurance, or those who cannot afford the out-of-pocket vaccination prices, there are programs that will help cover the cost of immunizations. The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program covers all ACIP recommended vaccinations for children 18 and younger who also:
- Qualify for Medicaid
- Are uninsured or underinsured
- Are Native American or Alaskan Native
There are also several state and local resources that will help cover vaccination costs. Federally funded health centers offer preventative and wellness services, including vaccines, that charge sliding fees based on your income. Your state health department can also direct you to resources within your community that provide free or reduced-cost vaccinations, depending on your level of need.
Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccinations
ArmorVax keeps you and your family healthy by streamlining the vaccination process. From locating a vaccination provider to giving you access to your records with just the touch of a button, we are making staying current with your immunizations easier than ever. Download the ArmorVax app today!