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September 23, 2016

Why You Should Get a Flu Shot (For Free!)

Doctors and other health experts would like to clear up a few misconceptions about the flu. First, flu is not just a really bad cold. Instead, it can be a very serious illness. Influenza kills more than 36,000 people each year and puts 200,000 more into the hospital.

Fortunately – contrary to another common misperception -- the flu shot works. The vaccine is more effective some years than others, but in the 2010-2012 flu seasons it cut the risk that a child would end up in the intensive care unit by 74%. And a study published this year showed that for people 50 and older, getting the flu shot more than halved the chance of needing to be hospitalized. According to the CDC, everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season, with rare exceptions.

That’s why CareConnect wants to make it easy for you to get vaccinated. CareConnect covers either kind of flu vaccine recommended by the CDC – trivalent or quadrivalent. (Unfortunately for needle-haters, the nasal spray form of flu vaccine has not been shown to work against the flu; the CDC does not recommend it for the 2016-2017 flu season, and CareConnect is not covering it.) Even better, the vaccine is covered with no copay – meaning that you don’t have to pay a penny.

You can get a no-cost flu shot three different ways:

OPTION 1: At a pharmacy in the CVS Broad Vaccine Pharmacy Network. This network includes many CVS pharmacies, as well as stores in other chains, like many Duane Reade, Walgreen and ShopRite pharmacies, among others. Many independent pharmacies are also in the network. A CareConnect Service Connector can help you find a participating pharmacy close to you – call us at 855-706-7545. If you’d rather find your own pharmacy, call ahead to make sure that the store is in the CVS Broad Vaccine Pharmacy Network and that it has flu vaccine in stock and a pharmacist on hand to administer it. Bring your membership card and photo I.D. In New York, pharmacists cannot administer vaccines to anyone under 18 years of age. For children and younger teens, check out option 2 or 3.

OPTION 2: At your provider’s office. You can get a no-cost flu shot at a provider’s office as part of a well-care visit. It’s a good idea to call ahead or ask a Service Connector to call to check on your provider’s policies because some provider offices charge an administration fee if you come in for just a flu shot; sometimes, there’s no fee if a nurse administers the shot. If you get treatment or evaluation for some other issue during the same visit, you may be charged a copay for those services.

OPTION 3: At a CVS Minute Clinic. If you get only a flu shot during the visit, there will be no copay (bring your membership card and photo I.D.). Just like at a provider’s office, if you get treatment or evaluation for some other issue during the same visit, you may have a copay for those services.

It takes a few weeks for your immunity to build up once you’ve gotten a flu shot. So call us today for help in figuring out the easiest way to get vaccinated – without spending a cent!