Does Medicare Pay For Pneumonia Shots? Your Ultimate Guide To Coverage

Does Medicare Pay For Pneumonia Shots?

Pneumonia, a prevalent infection affecting either one or both lungs, involves inflammation, pus, and fluid buildup, leading to respiratory difficulties.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 1.4 million individuals seek emergency room treatment annually for pneumonia.

Pneumococcal vaccines serve as preventive measures against common bacterial infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Two varieties of pneumonia vaccines are accessible to target specific strains of this bacterium.

Thankfully, if you’re covered by Medicare Part B or Part C, both types of pneumococcal vaccines are included in your coverage.

Let’s delve deeper into pneumonia vaccines and their coverage under Medicare.

Does Medicare Pay For Pneumonia Shots? An image of a Doctor injecting a Patient
An image of a Doctor injecting a Patient. PHOTO: Pexels


What Is Medicare?

Medicare, a federal health program, extends coverage to individuals aged 65 and older, disabled individuals of any age, and those afflicted with ESRD (End-stage Renal Disease) and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s).

There are two primary coverage options for Medicare beneficiaries: Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

Original Medicare, administered by the government, encompasses Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (general medical insurance).

On the other hand, Medicare Advantage is offered by private health insurance companies and includes coverage for both Part A and Part B services.

Both coverage options entail monthly expenses, deductibles, coinsurance, and co-payments that members are responsible for.

Additionally, Medicare Part D addresses the provision of at-home, self-administered prescription medications.

What Is A Pneumonia Shot?

Pneumonia, a lung infection, can result from various microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Particularly perilous for young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems, it manifests through symptoms like coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, sweating, and fever.

Treatment typically entails antibiotics to combat bacterial infections, alongside adequate rest and hydration.

The pneumonia shot, or pneumococcal vaccine, serves as a preventive measure against this illness.

Recommended for all adults aged 65 and above, as well as individuals of any age with specific medical conditions predisposing them to pneumonia, the vaccine is usually administered in two doses, with the second administered five years after the first.

  • Where Can I Get A Pneumonia Shot?

Vaccines against diseases like pneumonia and shingles are readily accessible nationwide.

Typically, you can receive a pneumonia vaccine at pharmacies, medical practices, clinics, or hospitals.

Types Of Pneumonia Vaccines

Does Medicare Pay For Pneumonia Shots? An infographic outlining types Of Pneumonia Vaccines
An infographic outlining types Of Pneumonia Vaccines.


Two pneumonia vaccines, Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23, have FDA approval in the U.S.

Both are recognized as safe and efficient, and they are accessible to all Medicare beneficiaries in the country.

  • Prevnar 13 

Prevnar 13 provides defense against 13 strains of bacteria responsible for pneumonia.

It’s advised for adults aged 65 and older, and children below 5 years old.

The vaccination involves a series of injections, starting at 2 months, followed by boosters at 4, 6, and 12 months.

  • Pneumovax 23

Pneumovax 23, a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, is designed to safeguard against pneumonia-causing bacteria.

It functions by prompting the body’s immune system to generate antibodies capable of identifying and combating these bacteria should they infiltrate the lungs.

It’s advisable for adults aged 65 and above to receive Pneumovax 23, along with individuals of any age with specific medical conditions that heighten their susceptibility to pneumococcal pneumonia.

Should you harbor any reservations regarding either Prevnar 13 or Pneumovax 23, it’s wise to discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist to address any queries or concerns you may have.

Will Medicare Cover Pneumonia Shots?

Yes, According to, Medicare Part B fully covers the cost of pneumonia shots, meaning you won’t have any out-of-pocket expenses if you require one.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognizes pneumonia shots as preventive treatment.

Additionally, you can also receive other vaccinations, including flu shots.

Will Medicare Advantage Cover Pneumonia Shots?

Yes, If you’re enrolled in Medicare Advantage, you’ll receive coverage for pneumococcal vaccines and other shots included in Medicare’s coverage.

Medicare Advantage Plans must offer equivalent coverage to what beneficiaries would receive under Original Medicare.

Yet, it’s important to note that your Medicare Advantage Plan may have a preferred network of healthcare providers.

To ensure coverage under your Medicare Advantage health plan, you may need to utilize one of your plan’s in-network providers.

Will Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance Help Pay For Pneumonia Shots?

Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap, serves as an extra layer of health coverage aimed at addressing expenses not covered by Original Medicare.

This includes expenses like coinsurance, deductibles, and co-payments.

While Medigap doesn’t assist with covering pneumonia shots, it can alleviate some other expenses linked to your coverage, such as aiding with your Part B deductible.

It’s essential to note that you’re eligible for Medicare Supplement Insurance only if you’re enrolled in Original Medicare.

Individuals enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan or Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) cannot purchase Medigap coverage.

Which Vaccines Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare provides coverage for the following vaccines:

  1. The Flu vaccine.

  2. The Pneumonia vaccine.

  3. The Hepatitis B vaccine.

If you possess either a Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D Plan, your coverage extends to the vaccines previously specified as well as additional ones:

  1. The Shingles vaccine.

  2. The Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis).

  3. Any other vaccine that is deemed to be medically necessary to prevent an illness, but is not covered by Medicare Part B.

If the vaccine you’re getting falls under Medicare Part B coverage, there won’t be any out-of-pocket costs for you.

However, if you receive a vaccine covered by Medicare Advantage or a Part D Prescription Drug Plan, there may be a co-payment or coinsurance fee, depending on your specific plan.

These costs are typically minimal, possibly just a few dollars.

Final Thoughts

Medicare covers pneumonia shots, like Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23, under Part B and Part C, along with other vaccines such as flu shots and Hepatitis B.

Medicare Advantage Plans also provide similar coverage, ensuring minimal out-of-pocket costs.

Although Medigap insurance doesn’t cover pneumonia shots directly, it can help with other healthcare expenses.

Overall, Medicare’s inclusion of pneumonia vaccines highlights its dedication to preventive healthcare for older adults and individuals with certain medical conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is the average cost of a pneumonia shot?

Typically, the expense for a pneumonia vaccination falls in the range of $200 to $250 when paid directly.

Nevertheless, both Medicare and the majority of private medical insurance schemes typically absorb the entire expense of pneumonia vaccinations.

  • Is the pneumonia vaccine free?

PPSV23, also known as Pneumovax®23, is available at no cost to adults aged 65 and above through public funding.

  • Is the pneumonia vaccine covered?

Many private health insurance policies typically include coverage for pneumococcal vaccines.

To ascertain any potential costs, consult your insurance provider.

Additionally, inquire about in-network vaccine providers and request a list from your insurance company.

  • Where can I get a free pneumonia vaccine?

The Pneumococcal vaccination is accessible through the NHS; however, it is provided free of cost solely to individuals falling into specific high-risk groups, including babies under 2 years old, adults aged 65 and above, and individuals with enduring health conditions like chronic kidney or heart disease.

ALSO READ: Does Medicare Pay for Flu Shots? Unveiling the Comprehensive Guide to Your Vaccination Benefits

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