Did you know that 900,000 Americans get pneumonia every year? Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by pneumococcal disease, which can also cause blood infections and meningitis. The bacteria that causes pneumococcal disease is spread by direct person-to-person contact.
Medicare can help protect you from pneumococcal infections. The best way to prevent these infections is by getting the pneumococcal shot. Medicare Part B covers the shot and a second one 11 months after you got the first shot for anyone with Part B.
You may be at a higher risk for these infections if you:
- Are 65 or older
- Have a chronic illness (like asthma, diabetes, or lung, heart, liver, or kidney disease)
- Have a condition that weakens your immune system (like HIV, AIDS, or cancer)
- Live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
- Have cochlear implants or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks
- Smoke tobacco