Where to find free or cheap flu shots

Flu shots can be costly if you don’t know where to check for bargains. Here are some tips that might help.

Ask your employer. To cut down on sick days, employers frequently offer flu shots at no cost to their employees. If you’re employed, ask someone in your company’s human resources department if flu shots will be offered this season.

Check with your insurance company. Under the federal Affordable Care Act, all insurance plans that were created after March 23, 2010, are required to provide some types of preventive care, including immunizations, for free. If you have a new employer, or your employer recently switched insurance plans, call to find out if flu shots are covered.

Talk to your doctor. If you have Medicare Part B, your flu shot should be free. If you have private insurance, you may be able to get a flu shot either free or for the price of a copay. Even if you don’t think flu shots are covered by your insurance, ask the billing department at your doctor’s office to call and find out.

Look for free or low-cost flu clinics or events. Some hospitals or other health care organizations offer flu shot clinics where they will give free or low-cost flu shots to the public on a first-come-first-served basis.

Try a drugstore or supermarket. If you have insurance, you can get a flu shot at most of these locations free, but make sure your chosen location takes your particular insurance plan first. Here are the costs for 2014:

  • CVS: $31.99. You’ll also get a 20% off shopping pass (except in Arkansas, New Jersey or New York) while supplies last.
  • Walgreens: $31.99. Walgreens also is offering more than $10 million worth of free flu shot vouchers to people who do not have health insurance coverage and are unable to afford a flu shot on their own. Each voucher is good for one free flu shot. To find out if you are eligible and where you can get a free flu shot voucher, call 800-925-4733. The vouchers are being given away on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.
  • Costco: $14.99.
  • Publix: $30
  • Winn-Dixie: $24.99 (with prescription drug plan).