Does Medicare Cover Tetanus Shots
Does Medicare Cover Tetanus Shots?
Tetanus is commonly known as lockjaw. This is a very severe bacterial infection that clostridium tetani bacterium causes. These bacteria are everywhere in the natural environment. However, you find them most commonly in manure or dirt. If the bacteria get into your body through a wound, it can cause an infection. Tetanus can impact your nervous system and brain, and it can easily lead to problems breathing, severe muscle spasms, muscle stiffness, and death. In the United States, there are few cases of tetanus each year. This is because the common tetanus vaccine gives you adequate protection against an infection from this bacterium.
When you’re young, you got an injection to protect you against tetanus with your diphtheria and pertussis injections. However, protection from tetanus can wear off for people who don’t keep up with their vaccinations. You should get a tetanus booster once every 10 years to keep your protection levels up. This is why adults should include a tetanus shot as part of their 10-year health plan.
If you’re not getting vaccinations like you should or if it’s been over 10 years since you had a tetanus shot, you may need to know if your Medicare benefits will cover the cost to ensure you stay protected.
Why the tetanus shot is important
Thanks to the vaccination, tetanus isn’t a common illness in the United States. However, it can be a life-threatening illness if you’re unprotected and get infected with it. Symptoms can start to appear between 7 and 10 days after the bacterium enters your body through a wound and infects you. Because this illness impacts your central nervous system and brain, muscle stiffness, and spasms that are usually the earliest warning signs. They begin in the throat and neck area, and this is where the common name of lockjaw comes from. Additional symptoms include:
- Bloody stools
- Rapid heart rate
- Sore throat
Medicare benefits and the tetanus shot
If you’re a Medicare recipient who has Part B under Original Medicare, or if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, it’ll cover the cost of a tetanus shot when it’s part of a treatment plan for an injury or illness. However, it won’t cover the cost of the Tdap vaccine. This is the booster that includes pertussis, diphtheria, and tetanus.
However, Medicare Part D could give you coverage for commercially available shots that help prevent illnesses, and this includes the tetanus shot. Almost all Part D plans offer this coverage, but you want to double-check before you opt to get it. You also want to find out which pharmacies are in your policy’s network. An insurance company representative can provide you with all of this information.
If you don’t have coverage with Part B, Part D, or a Medicare Advantage plan, you could end up paying for your tetanus shot out of your own pocket. Luckily, this is usually an affordable cost.
Tetanus shot costs
The average national cost for this vaccination is $60 for each dose. Since a single vaccination can last for a decade, the lower cost is even better. Again, you can contact your insurance company representative and ask about coverage for this vaccination if you’re not sure. At the very least, you’ll have a good idea of the amount of money you’ll have to have to pay for it if they don’t offer coverage.