Every year experts say that the best way to keep from getting sick from the flu is to get vaccinated, but not everyone has health insurance to cover the vaccine. Does that mean those people just go without preventive care? No way. Everyone should be protected from seasonal viruses, and with that in mind, the flu shot is available if you're paying for it out-of-pocket. According to LifeHacker, your local pharmacy is the least expensive place to get a flu shot without insurance, with Costco typically coming out the cheapest at $19.99. Don't worry; you don't need a Costco membership to get a flu shot there, says LifeHacker. Just tell the door attendant you're there for the pharmacy, and they're supposed to just let you in.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also has a pretty handy vaccine finder tool that brings up locations near you where you can get a flu shot, among other vaccinations. According to Fortune, the out-of-pocket cost of a flu shot really fluctuates depending on the type of vaccine you get, from $20 at Costco to upwards of $40. If you're paying out-of-pocket for the flu shot, the best thing to do is to call around to your health department and local pharmacies to see where it's being offered and for how much.
Other places you can get a flu shot without insurance include:
- Costco - The seasonal quadrivalent vaccine is $19.99, and WalletHacks says you don't need to be a Costco member to use their pharmacy.
- Walmart - Trivalent, quadrivalent, and high-dose strains are available at most locations, and self-pay is accepted.
- CVS/Target - The seasonal flu shot is $40.99 at CVS. The clinics inside Target are CVS clinics, so flu shots at Target are the same price, only you can sometimes get coupons and discounts at Target when you get your flu shot at the CVS located inside a Target.
- Walgreens - The seasonal flu shot is $40.99 for the standard dose at Walgreens and $69.99 for the high dose, which is recommended for people ages 65 and older.
- Your County Health Department - According to LifeHacker, some county health departments offer free flu shot clinics, so check with yours to see if they plan to host one this season.
- Your Employer - LifeHacker also says some employers offer free flu shots, so even if you're not on their insurance plan, you might still be able to get a flu shot through them.
According to the CDC, getting the flu shot is the most important step you can take against protecting yourself from the flu, especially since it protects you from three or four of the most common flu virus strains. Even if this season's vaccine doesn't quite match up 100 percent with this season's virus strain, says the CDC, if you get sick, your symptoms will be much less severe than they would've been if you hadn't gotten the flu shot.
It can be really overwhelming to juggle health care costs when you don't have insurance, but hopefully these give you the options you need to protect yourself this season. Not only are there self-pay options in a range of prices, but there might even be some free options available through your local health department. Either way, everyone should be protected from the flu, every season.