A friend writes:

“I make a point of getting a flu shot from my primary care doc every year, but each year it becomes more of a hassle.

“I can only get it certain times of certain days when a certain nurse is in the office. I have to call in advance to let them know I’m coming. Sometimes they haven’t gotten their supply yet. Other times they’ve run out, or only have enough for the elderly and asthma patients.

“This year I just hadn’t gotten around to it. So I was intrigued yesterday when I stopped into my local Duane Reade for a couple of items and saw the sign at the Rx counter for flu shots.

“I asked how long it would take. Five minutes. How much it would cost? They asked for my insurance card, looked me up on their system and said my carrier would cover the full cost.

“I had to fill out a single form asking the usual questions about allergies and such and was asked to take a seat in a little waiting area. Three minutes later I rolled up my sleeve and was expertly and painlessly jabbed by a very nice technician and sent on my way. According to my receipt the retail price that I did not have to pay was $31.99.”


Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...