← Well Winter 2021
Don't Overlook the Importance of a Flu Shot
Missed yours? It's not too late to get one
The 2020-2021 flu season is unlike any other with flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 both circulating in our communities. While getting a flu shot will not protect against COVID-19, it can reduce your risk of flu illness and prevent hospitalization, which is crucial at a time when the health care system is burdened by the coronavirus.
It’s best to get a flu shot early in the season – ideally by the end of October. However, if you haven’t already received one, it’s not too late because flu season can continue through spring.
“Protecting yourself with a flu shot in these unprecedented times is one of the best things you can do for your own health and that of your family,” says Claire Levesque, M.D., chief medical officer of Commercial Products at Tufts Health Plan. “It is of the utmost importance that we do all we can to protect our families.”
- The flu vaccine is safe, effective, and available at many locations
- Everyone ages six months or older should be vaccinated every flu season, with rare exceptions, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Pregnant women also need to receive the flu vaccine and should check to see if their OB/GYN is stocking it.
Flu shots are covered at no cost for most plans
For most plans, there is no cost to you and a copayment/deductible does not apply.1 If you pay out-of-pocket for the flu vaccine, you can submit your payment to Tufts Health Plan using the Medical Claim Member Reimbursement Form.
Where to get a flu shot
You have a wide choice of options:
- Your doctor's office – For most plans you pay no copay or deductible if your visit is just for a flu shot. Be sure to ask your doctor if there are other preventive vaccines you and your family should also have, like those for measles or pneumococcal disease. Learn more.
- Town or school clinics – Just show your Tufts Health Plan member ID card and for most plans you pay no copay or other cost. Contact your city or town administrator for location information.
- Participating CVS Pharmacy® locations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire – Just show your member ID card and for most plans you pay no copay or other cost. Appointments are not required.
- Participating MinuteClinics within CVS Pharmacy® locations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York – Just show your member ID card and for most plans you pay no copay or other cost. Appointments are not required.
- Participating ConvenientMD Urgent Care locations.
- Any self-pay clinic or vaccination site – You will need to submit your claim to Tufts Health Plan for reimbursement using the Medical Claim Member Reimbursement Form.
- For members receiving home health services – You are eligible to receive the flu vaccine in your home if you have been approved for and are currently receiving home health services at the time of your vaccination.
For questions about the flu vaccine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist, or use Telehealth Virtual Care provided by Teladoc®. Teladoc connects you to a U.S.-based, board-certified doctor for free by phone or video.2