“The Startlingly High Cost Of The ‘Free’ Flu Shot” – California HealthLine

California Flu Deaths Rise Sharply In JanuaryAlthough many consumers pay nothing out of pocket for flu shots, insurers foot the bill. And those prices vary dramatically. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

by Phil Galewitz

“In the Byzantine world of health care pricing, most people wouldn’t expect that the ubiquitous flu shot could be a prime example of how the system’s lack of transparency can lead to disparate costs.

“The Affordable Care Act requires health insurers to cover all federally recommended vaccines at no charge to patients, including flu immunizations. Although people with insurance pay nothing when they get their shot, many don’t realize that their insurers foot the bill — and that those companies will recoup their costs eventually.

“In just one small sample from one insurer, Kaiser Health News found dramatic differences among the costs for its own employees. At a Sacramento, Calif., facility, the insurer paid $85, but just a little more than half that at a clinic in Long Beach. A drugstore in Washington, D.C., was paid $32.”

Click here to read this article at California HealthLine in its entirety.

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