Palmetto GBA logoIt’s that time again. Flu season is upon us and the flu shot is available to be taken now. There are between 135 and 139 million vaccinations available this year. Medicare Part B (including Railroad Medicare) normally pays for one flu shot per flu season.

There are two ways to take the vaccine – by injection or nasally – and there are different types of vaccine options. The vaccine traditionally protects against three or four different kinds of flu viruses: two that are influenza A and one or two that are influenza B.

Several of the vaccines are egg-based which means they’re manufactured in eggs or with egg protein. Those who are sensitive to eggs should discuss with their doctor which type of flu shot they should get.

If you are in one of the following categories, you should get a flu shot:

  • 50 years or older;
  • At high risk of developing complications from the flu, such as pneumonia;
  • Have asthma, diabetes or chronic lung disease or other conditions;
  • Are a resident of a nursing home.

You can receive your vaccination at clinics, pharmacies, health departments or your doctor’s office. If your provider accepts Medicare, then Railroad Medicare should also be accepted. If they have any questions, they can call the Provider Contact at (888) 355-9165 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you have questions about your coverage call the Railroad Medicare Beneficiary Contact Center at (800) 833-4455 between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday or visit and click on “Railroad Beneficiaries” along the left side.