Vaccines are FREE, but they might want your insurance card anyway. Here’s why…

Vaccines are FREE, but they might want your insurance card anyway. Here’s why…

There is supposed to be no out-of-pocket expense for the COVID-19 vaccine. And if you’re uninsured, you can still get the vaccine for free.


In order to beat coronavirus, we need as many people vaccinated as possible. That’s why the government has made the vaccine free to you paid for by tax dollars instead. But a WFMY News 2 viewer told us she went to Walgreens to get the shot and they asked for her insurance card and billing information. So, what gives? Of course, we reached out to the pharmacy. They said:


“We continue to follow CMS guidance as it’s available regarding reimbursement for administration of COVID vaccines. There is a small fee attached to the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine which will be reimbursed by insurance for residents who have Medicare Part B, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and commercial insurance.”

So, the bottom line is that the shot is free, but providers can charge for the person’s time giving you the shot. But, and here’s the HUGE ‘BUT’:

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid says you will not be charged that fee. It’s billed to your insurance company. If you don’t have insurance, it should be covered by the federal government.

Medicare says it’s paying health care providers about $45 to administer both doses of the vaccine. But again, the out-of-pocket cost to you should be free.

And remember, anyone asking you to pay is a scammer.

Unfortunately, vaccine scams are everywhere. In fact, the Digital Citizens Alliance just recently did their own investigation. The investigation found fake COVID vaccines being sold on Facebook and Facebook Messenger and by then by text.

Some of the fake vaccines were $175, but when folks paid the money, the scammers didn’t even ship the fake vaccine and requested more money for shipping.

No matter how convincing someone sounds:
There is no cost for the vaccine.
There is no cost to register for the vaccine.
There is no way for you to pay to get a better spot on the vaccine list.


Patricia Jones

Patricia is originally from Birmingham, AL, but has lived in the Triad for over a decade, arriving here shortly after finishing her journalism degree from Auburn. She writes mainly on local politics and policies.