Health is wealth, so, prevention is always better than cure. With CDC’s estimated flu deaths during flu seasons ranging from 12,000 (2011-2012) to 61,000 (2017-2018), the message is clear that we should not take this lightly. While some may see it as “just flu,” the statistics don’t lie – it can still be lethal.
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Aside from maintaining a strong immune system by adopting a healthier diet and lifestyle, it’s also essential to get a flu shot. If you are wondering how much is a flu shot, and whether or not you can get a free flu shot without insurance, then, you’d better read until the end of this article.
How Much Does a Flu Shot Cost Without Insurance?
Most, if not all, insurance companies will cover flu shots at the doctor’s office, several pharmacies, and urgent care facilities. Without insurance, the flu shot cost will depend on the type of flu vaccine, and the location where you will be vaccinated.
The two most common types of flu shots are the quadrivalent flu vaccine and the high-dose flu vaccine. And as for the price, without insurance, the quadrivalent flu vaccine is around $40, while the high-dose flu vaccine is typically around $70.
Where to Get Free Flu Shot?
Most health insurance plans cover flu shots at pharmacies inside Albertsons grocery stores. Without insurance, the flu vaccine will vary depending on your location and age.
The good news is that uninsured adults can avail free flu shots at participating Albertsons pharmacies in Washington until June 2021 or until supplies last. This offer is available for all uninsured adults not just in Washington; proof of residency or immigration status will not be required.
If you have commercial health insurance (not provided by the government), you can get 10% off your next purchase if you will have your flu shot at Safeway and other retail stores with Albertsons pharmacy.
Also, twenty-three Safeway and Albertsons pharmacies across Washington are currently offering free flu shots for uninsured adults until June 2021 or until supplies last. And like what was mentioned earlier, any uninsured adult can avail of the free flu shot.
3. Doctor’s Clinic
Your health insurance is now required to pay for your flu shots without a copayment if you have a public health insurance exchange. This is all thanks to the Affordable Care Act coverage rules (when given by an in-network provider). Adults over the age of 65 can also get their flu shots free with their Medicare Part B.
4. Urgent Care Facilities
If you have insurance and you can’t make it to your doctor’s clinic hours between 9 am to 5 pm, you can go to any urgent care facility near you, instead. But just like when going to your doctor, it’s also advisable to call ahead of time to schedule your appointment with the facility and to be sure that you won’t pay extra fees.
A lot of big companies offer free flu shots to their employers to keep them from getting sick, and offset the billion dollars-worth of paid time-off and lost productivity every year. So, before you head on to your local pharmacy, you can ask your HR, company nurse, or doctor if there are or there will be available free flu shots for all employees soon.
6. County Health Department
Many county health departments offer free flu shots to children and the elderly. However, the waiting time can be very long considering maybe the allotted budget for the vaccines and the overwhelming number of people on the waiting list. Feel free to check out your county or cities website for more details.
7. College Campuses
Most colleges offer free flu shots for their students as the small spaces inside the shared bathrooms and dorms make them susceptible to the virus. Check on your school website to find more information about this, or you can visit or call your school clinic.
Where to Get The Best Flu Shot Deals?
Of all the pharmacies on this list, Costco offers the cheapest quadrivalent vaccines for $19.99. There is no need for health insurance to avail of the low-cost flu shot, and you don’t even need to sign up for a Costco membership.
9. CVS Pharmacy
CVS promotes a “no-cost” flu shot with most insurance policies, but depending on your plan, there can still be a copayment. Walk-ins are also welcome to have their flu shots at any CVS pharmacy, or you can schedule an appointment online.
The cost of quadrivalent flu shot at CVS is $45 while the high-dose flu shot is $75. CVS also offers a $5 off $25 coupon that you can use on your next purchase when you get your flu shot at any of their stores.
CVS Health operates Target’s pharmacies, so if you get your flu shot here, you can also get CVS credits. Target also offers a $5 coupon if you get your flu shot at any of their locations. And since their pharmacies are operated by CVS, the prices of their vaccines are also the same at CVS pharmacies. You can also walk-in to have your flu shot or schedule an online appointment.
To get your flu shot at any Publix location, you can simply walk-in without scheduling an appointment. If you get your flu shot here, you can also get a $10 coupon that you can use immediately in the store. And as for the price of their flu shots, their standard quadrivalent is $48 while their high-dose flu shot is $84.
Walgreens flu shot cost is $40.99 for their quadrivalent shot and $79 for their high-dose flu vaccine. They also offer an occasional “$5 Off $20” coupon if you get your shot at any of their locations. They also offer free flu shots to veterans enrolled in VA services if you fill out this form.
13. Giant Food
Flu vaccines are free at Giant Food with most insurance plans. You can simply walk-in at any of their locations without an appointment.
Just like with other pharmacies, you can get your flu shot at Kroger without an appointment. And there’s a bonus if you have a Kroger Plus card. Based on their website: “Prescriptions paid for, in whole or in part, by a federal healthcare program such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare, will receive Pharmacy Fuel Points based on out-of-pocket spend (i.e. $1 copay = 1 Fuel Point).”
Also, most commercial health plans are eligible to earn Pharmacy Fuel Points at Kroger. And as for the prices of their flu shots, their quadrivalent is $40 while their senior dose is $56 with an injection fee.
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15. Sam’s Club
You can get your flu shot from Sam’s Club without a membership and an appointment; simply walk-in at any Sam’s Club Pharmacy. Their quadrivalent flu shot is $35, while their high-dose shot is $71.15.
There is no need for an appointment if you want to have your flu shot at any Walmart location. They also offer free vaccines with participating insurance plans. Without insurance, or as a copayment, Walmart flu shot cost is $35 for their quadrivalent shot and $74.15 for their high-dose flu shot.
Get your flu shot for free (without copay) at Wegmans with most insurance plans. You can simply walk into the store without scheduling an appointment.
While it may seem impossible to get free flu shot these days, there are still ways to get it, even if you don’t have an insurance plan as mentioned above. But of course, if you have one, chances are high that you can get it for free even without a copayment.
Don’t worry if your local pharmacy is not on the list, simply ask them if they offer a free flu shot, instead. And if they don’t, then, just ask them if they offer seasonal discounts or other flu shot deals.