You Cant Afford To Get Sick
You have a busy life and too much responsibility to risk getting sick. Vaccines can help you stay healthy so you dont miss work. If you can avoid getting sick, you will have more time for your family, friends, and hobbies.
Getting recommended vaccines can give you some peace of mind. You will have the best possible protection available against a number of serious diseases.
A Trusted Provider For 60 Years
We’ve been committed to providing quality healthcare coverage to federal employees, retirees and their families since 1960. Its why 99% of our members stay with us year after year.
Its also because we offer the coverage you need most, including:
- Free preventive care like your annual physical, flu shots, nutritional counseling and cancer screenings
- Two free virtual visits with Teladoc® so you can get treatment for minor injuries and illnesses, mental health support, dermatology care and more by phone or video
- Overseas coverage that keeps you protected when working or traveling outside the U.S.
- Wellness incentives that reward you for taking charge of your health
You also get access to our Preferred provider network that includes more doctors, hospitals and specialists than any other network. And you never need a referral to see a specialist.
When Should I Get The Flu Shot
Early fall is the best time to get your flu shot. Getting vaccinated early is important, because the flu is highly contagious and spreads rapidly.
Getting the shot before the flu season is in full force gives the body a chance to protect itself. Peak months for the flu season in Michigan are November, December, January, February, March and April.
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Other Ways To Prevent The Flu
A healthy immune system stands between our bodies and infections. During cold and flu season, its especially important to keep your immune system strong. Heres how:
- Get enough sleep. Research shows that lack of sleep leaves you more vulnerable to viruses. Adults and children should try to get seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
- Keep moving. Regular physical activity helps your body fight infection. Experts recommend two-and-a-half to five hours of moderate exercise weekly.
- Eat right. A variety of nutrient-rich foods will keep your immune system at its peak. Include whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. Fish and dairy products fortified with vitamin D may be especially good for boosting immunity.
- Take it easy. Stress weakens your ability to ward off disease. Try a relaxation technique like meditation, which research shows can help you maintain your immune system.
These hygiene practices can also help keep the flu at bay:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
- Cover your nose and mouth if you sneeze or cough
- Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth as little as possible
Why The Flu Shot Still Matters
If youve had COVID-19, you still need a flu shot because different viruses cause the two diseases. A novel coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, causes COVID-19, and several influenza viruses that change every year cause the flu, the CDCexplains.
TheCDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices determines the three or four flu viruses that are most likely to circulate in the next flu season, and vaccine manufacturers update the flu shot accordingly. In the United States, updates that address genetic changes in two influenza A viruses and one or two influenza B viruses are included in each seasons flu vaccines.
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About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 34 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health Indexsm. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit BCBS.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on , check out our videos on and follow us on .
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 35 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.
Seasonal Influenza Vaccines Pricing
The Medicare Part B payment allowance limits for seasonal influenza vaccines are 95% of the Average Wholesale Price , as reflected in the published compendia.
In hospital outpatient departments, payment is based on reasonable cost.
Annual Part B deductible and coinsurance amounts dont apply for the influenza virus vaccinations. All physicians, non-physician practitioners, and suppliers who administer these vaccinations must take assignment on the claim for the vaccine.
Annual Influenza Vaccine season starts on August 1 and ends on July 31 of the following year.
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Preventing And Treating The Flu
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting a flu shot can reduce your risk of getting the flu by 50 to 60 percent. Its recommended that all people 6 months and older receive the flu shot each year. Getting a flu shot is easy, and with your benefits, it’s at no cost to you.
View the flu shot video script .
Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Flu Shots
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans cover flu shots, as they’re also covered by Original Medicare . Most BCBS Medicare plans include prescription drug coverage, which can help pay for other vaccinations and preventive health care.
Flu season gets everyone thinking about the flu shot, and in turn, about their insurance.
If youre a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plan beneficiary, theres no need to worry. Your flu shot is covered.
In fact, the same holds true for members of any insurance carrier. Flu shots are protected by the Affordable Care Act and must be covered by every insurance plan. And because flu shots are covered by Original Medicare , then all Medicare Advantage plans such as the ones from Blue Cross Blue Shield must also cover flu shots.
Plan beneficiaries can receive a flu shot with no copayment or coinsurance, whether by receiving it from a participating network provider or by meeting certain other criteria.
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Postpone Your Flu Shot If You Have Covid
The best way to protect yourself and others against seasonal flu infection this fall or winter is to get a flu shot. According to the CDC, the flu shot reduced the risk of flu by 40% to 60% when the vaccine was well matched to the viruses estimated to be spreading in previous flu seasons.
But if you have a suspected or confirmed coronavirus infection, the CDCadvises postponing a flu shot until after your symptoms have resolved. This recommendation is essential if you are very sick, but it also applies if you tested positive for COVID-19 and do not have any symptoms.
Getting Shots And Vaccines With Your Health Insurance
Vaccines are important for protecting you from preventable diseases like measles, meningitis, and the flu. Vaccines prepare your immune system to fight diseases without making you sick, so that when you’re exposed to the real thing, you can save your days off of work for something more fun than lying in bed with a splitting headache and a burning throat.
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Remind Patients To Get Influenza Vaccination
Every year, our members receive the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey to collect information about their health care experiences. One of the questions asked on the survey is, Have you had either a flu shot or flu spray in the nose since July 1 of the previous year?
As this years flu season approaches, its important to ask our members if they, and their children 6 months of age and older, received a flu shot this year. If they havent, we encourage you to explain the benefits and work on a plan to help them get one.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , seasonal flu is a serious disease that causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of thousands of deaths every year in the U.S.1 The CDC encourages you to remind your patients of the following benefits:2
- Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
- Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working age adults, and older adults.
- Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.
- Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.
- Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
- Getting vaccinated yourself may also help protect people around you.
CAHPS is a registered trademark of Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
What Are The Benefits Of The Flu Vaccine
According to the CDC, the flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor visits each year. Getting yours can prevent you from getting the flu, and has been shown to reduce the severity of illness in those who get their flu shot but still get sick.
It reduces the risk of flu-related hospitalizations and is an important prevention method for people with chronic health conditions. The flu vaccine protects you and your baby if youre pregnant, and can be lifesaving for vulnerable children. Getting yourself a flu vaccination can also protect those around you, like your family, friends and coworkers.
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Blue Cross And Blue Shield Federal Employee Program Joins White House Effort To Achieve National Vaccination Goal
WASHINGTON Today the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Government-wide Service Benefit Plan, also known as the Federal Employee Program® announced it will launch a COVID-19 Vaccination Incentive Program starting Friday, June 11, 2021, to encourage members to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and help meet President Bidens goal of having at least 70% of the U.S. adult population receive one or more vaccinations for COVID-19 by July 4, 2021.
Eligible members those over the age of 18 with an FEP MyBlue® account will receive $50 on their MyBlue Wellness Card when they provide official documentation of their COVID-19 vaccination record. Members can use these incentive funds to purchase qualified medical expenses. FEP is the first Federal Employees Health Benefit program to offer a vaccination incentive like this to its members.
FEP remains committed to protecting the health of our members and we continuously look for innovative solutions to the challenges we face in our health care system, said William A. Breskin, senior vice president of government programs for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Were proud to take part in the White Houses nationwide effort to help end the pandemic and encourage our members to get vaccinated and protect not only themselves, but their families and loved ones from this unforgiving virus.
A Widely Available Vaccine
Vaccine makers estimate there will be a record number of flu vaccine doses almost 200 million – available this flu season, the CDC says. You can find a nearby site offering vaccination here.
CDC, public health officials and physicians recommend that everyone over 6 months old receive the flu vaccine. It’s never too late in the season to get the shot, which reduces the risk of someone vaccinated getting sick with the flu by 40% to 60%. Anyone who is not sick with the flu will not spread the flu, they note.
The more people we vaccinate, the better chance we can prevent a large community outbreak, Colbert said.
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If Youre Over 50 Your Doctor Might Recommend The Shingles Vaccine
Each year, 1 million Americans get shinglesan illness that causes a painful, blistering rash and affects people differently. Some develop severe nerve pain that continues long after the rash clears up. Serious complications like blindness can occur.
The risk of getting shingles and developing serious complications increases with age. Thats why the CDC recommends healthy adults age 50 and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine.
Take a look at our preventive healthcare schedule which includes suggested vaccines for adults.
Why Does The Flu Vaccine Matter
Along with protecting you from getting infected, it reduces the spread of the virus and the need for medical care. With some hospitals already spread thin because of the pandemic, there is a just as much of a community need to prevent illness as there is on an individual basis. There are surges in patient volume every winter because of the flu, and when those are combined with pandemic surges, that could mean it becomes harder to get care when you really need it.
A strain on hospitals and clinics means a strain on patients and their families as well. Getting a flu vaccine is doing your part to stay healthy and keep our communities healthy.
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How To Get Vaccinated
The flu vaccine is covered by all health insurers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, without any cost share for members, and can be administered in your primary care physicians office, urgent care center, or pharmacy.
For more information on where you can get a flu vaccine, visit .
Bonuses Not Based Solely On Vaccines
Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a national federation of 35 independent and locally operated companies, each of which sets its own value-based contracts with local providers, according to an agency spokesperson.
The purpose of any performance-based incentives, where they exist, is to reward implementation of well-established, evidence-based best practices in the care of our members, a Blue Cross Blue Shield spokesperson said in an emailed statement. While vaccinations may fall into that category, they would not be the sole performance measure.
The spokesperson said incentives cover a broad collection of practices, and decisions on whether to vaccinate ultimately rest with the provider and the patient parent. Asked to address the figures in the post, the spokesperson emphasized that arrangements are made by local individual companies, and said Blue Cross Blue Shield does not control or have access to the details of specific value-based contracts.
It’s unclear where the amounts listed in the post originated from or if they were ever part of a specific program. As evidence, the Instagram user pointed to blog posts from Healthcare Finance and the Achievement Wellness Center on doctors and hospitals getting reimbursed for distributing COVID-19 vaccines but the sites don’t make this claim or offer evidence for it.
Areview of incentive program booklets from independent companies shows physicians and practices are incentivized for a number of measures, not just vaccinations.
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Your Questions About The Covid
In the face of COVID-19, every question, answer and vaccination is important. Thats why were addressing uncertainties you may have about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine with facts from the CDC to help alleviate your concerns and arm you with the knowledge you deserve.
The CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination. Receiving both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson /Janssen vaccine is crucial to protecting against severe disease and death from variants of the COVID-19 virus.
Recent booster recommendations:The guidance provided below from the CDC is only for those who originally received the two-dose series of Pfizers COVID vaccine. The CDC will be evaluating data in the coming weeks to provide recommendations related to booster shots for people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?No. You have to be exposed and become infected with the novel coronavirus to get COVID-19. The currently authorized vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. They do not contain any live viruses or virus particles.
Will the vaccine work for everyone?The COVID-19 vaccines currently available were proven to be highly effective across diverse races and genders. So, across the U.S., every family and neighborhood can expect the same effectiveness and protection.
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Across The Country Bcbs Payers Are Promoting Vaccinations And Immunizations By Improving Access To Preventative Care With A Focus On At
The effort comes in response to a drastic decrease in the number of vaccinations this year, compared with 2019 data.
To expand access to care, BCBS continues to expand access to preventative care through the Health Care Service Corporation mobile health program, which provides childhood immunizations, influenza vaccinations, and health literacy education in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
In 2019, HCSC expanded its mobile health program to reach more than 150,000 people by purchasing additional flu vaccines, hiring additional staff, and supporting new partnerships with local health departments and community organizations.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is also offering residents transportation to flu shot clinics through Bluebikes, a public bikeshare program in Boston and surrounding communities. During National Influenza Vaccination Week, the health plan is covering free bike rides across Metro Boston on Bluebikes.
Interested riders can use the national vaccine finder tool to find a clinic. The health plan also provides information on the importance of vaccines this season and the different ways to access it.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is expanding access to care through a series of grants distributed to 12 organizations with missions to promote vaccinations and immunizations in local communities.