How TRICARE Covers the Flu Vaccine

How TRICARE Covers the Flu Vaccine
Photo by Airman 1st Class Melody Bordeaux/Air Force

With all the talk about COVID and its vaccine, flu season may not be on your radar.

 

Normally, MOAA is on the road in the fall as we brief at the annual Retiree Appreciation Days (RADs) on your local bases. These RADs typically provide annual flu shots to participants. With RADs on many installations postponed, it’s possible you may forget about your flu shot.

 

[NOV. 22 WEBINAR: Virtual RAD Legislative Update]

 

Flu infections were relatively light in 2020 due to COVID-related precautions. Some medical authorities predict the flu will rebound this year. This might make a flu shot a higher priority on your schedule.

 

[VA FLU SHOTS: Learn More at VA.gov]

 

TRICARE typically covers the flu vaccine at no cost. You have three options to get the shot.

  • At a military hospital or clinic.

  • At a participating TRICARE retail network pharmacy. If you get your flu vaccine at a TRICARE retail network pharmacy, the pharmacist must administer the vaccine for it to be covered by TRICARE. Search online or call 1-877-363-1303 to find your retail network pharmacy.

  • Using a TRICARE-authorized medical provider. If you go to your doctor for the vaccine, you’ll pay your deductible and/or cost share for the office visit under TRICARE Select or Prime. Medicare/TRICARE For Life (TFL) costs are covered by your TFL supplement. Use the pharmacy instead of your doctor if possible.

 

Do not use non-network pharmacies or doctors, or you could pay much more.

 

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About the Author

Lt. Col. Shane Ostrom, USAF (Ret), CFP®
Lt. Col. Shane Ostrom, USAF (Ret), CFP®

Ostrom retired from the Air Force in 2000 and joined the MOAA team in 2006. His responsibilities include researching and answering member inquiries regarding military benefits, health care, survivor issues, and financial concerns.