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WSJ: An Easy Money Saver: the Flu Shot

November 26, 2014
The Wall Street Journal’s Avery Johnson wrote this week about a potential money saving (and health-protecting) step that’s easy to take this holiday season: getting a flu shot.
Flu can result in hospitalization, especially in young or old patients and those with underlying medical issues, says Dr. Jhung. The CDC estimates that the flu costs the U.S. more than $87 billion a year and results in 17 million lost workdays. A typical flu-related hospitalization for a child costs $4,000, and an emergency visit is about $730, says L.J. Tan, chief strategy officer at the Immunization Action Coalition, a nonprofit that educates the public and private sectors about vaccine-preventable illnesses.

One way to protect yourself is to get the flu vaccine, say health-care experts. Hand washing, hand sanitizers, covering your cough and staying home if you feel sick can also help contain the spread of the virus, which can affect up to 20% of the population yearly between October and May, says the CDC.

Johnson also points out that the flu shot is among the preventive services which many insurance plans now cover with no copay or coinsurance due to Affordable Care Act requirements. To find a flu shot clinic near you, visit this Flu Vaccine Finder from flu.gov.