Tuesday, April 16, 2024

What Medicare Plan Covers Shingles Shot

Medicare Coverage For The Shingles Vaccine

Medicare & You: Vaccines

Traditional Medicare doesnt cover the shingles vaccine, but a Part D plan could provide you with benefits. While Medicare doesnt cover the vaccine, Part B will cover the doctors visit that gets you a prescription for Shingrix.

Those of us that had chickenpox know how awful it felt and want to be sure we get the shingles vaccine. Keep reading to learn more about getting your shingles vaccine covered, the potential cost, and where to go for your vaccine.

Find Medicare Advantage Coverage For The Shingles Vaccine

Contact a licensed insurance agent today to find out if a Medicare Advantage plan is available where you live that will cover the shingles vaccine.

Find Medicare plans that cover the shingles vaccine

Or call 1-800-557-6059TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!

1 Umansky, Diane. The New Shingles Vaccine: What You Should Know About Shingrix. . Consumer Reports. Retrieved from www.consumerreports.org/shingles-vaccine/new-shingles-vaccine-shingrix-what-you-should-know.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shingles Vaccination. . Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/public/shingrix/index.html.

About the author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with MedicareAdvantage.com. He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles hes written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christians work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

Christians passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

Solving The Part D Oop Problem

When the MMA was passed, vaccine OOP costs were only a theoretical problem. Then, in 2005, the first pertussis-containing vaccine for adults was licensed, followed by the first shingles vaccine in 2006. A 2011 GAO report showed that relatively few Medicare beneficiaries received these vaccines, and cost sharing was cited as a barrier to access.

A 2018 Avalere Health analysis I led found that uptake of the shingles vaccine was 40% to 60% higher when a Part D plan offered $0 cost sharing. In 2016, 95% of Part D beneficiaries encountered vaccine cost sharing, with OOP costs averaging $85. Other studies have affirmed that cost sharing is a definite barrier to vaccine access, resulting in lower uptake.

Over the years, the CMS has encouraged Part D plan sponsors to offer a $0 or low cost-sharing formulary tier for vaccines, but the offering remained optional. Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act now makes this mandatory and removes a barrier to vaccine uptake.

Also Check: What Is The Start Of Shingles

Does Medicare Cover Shingles Vaccines In 2022

Shingles is a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus . It produces a painful rash with fluid-filled blisters and typically shows up on one side of the body. The same virus that causes chickenpox causes shingles. Anyone who has had chickenpox in the past is at risk of getting shingles.

Shingles is a painful rash that occurs along the distribution of a nerve, called a dermatome, says Erum N. Ilyas, MD, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and founder of AmberNoon. The virus lays dormant in the nervous system. Immunity likely plays a role in preventing the virus from reactivating. When immunity is low, the virus replicates and spreads down the nerve causing pain, inflammation, and blistering.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults older than 50 get the shingles vaccine. Shingles can cause long-term nerve pain and nerve damage. Getting two shingles vaccine doses two to six months apart has proven to be very effective at preventing shingles.

Shingrix is a brand-name shingles vaccine and is currently the only shingles vaccine available in the United States. Zostavax, a previous zoster vaccine, wasdiscontinued in 2020.

RELATED: Get Shingrix coupons | What is Shingrix?

How Much Does The Shingles Shot Cost With Medicare

What You Should Know About the Shingrix Vaccine for Shingles Prevention

If you have a Part D or Part C plan that includes medications, youll likely pay a small copayment for your vaccine. Most plans consider Shingrix a Tier 3 Brand-Name medication.

In most cases, the cost is less than $50 per dose. Contact your plan to find out the specific costs youll incur. If there is a deductible on your policy, you must meet the deductible before you benefit from cost-sharing.

Medigap insurance doesnt include Part D, youll need a separate policy to have prescription coverage.

Those that dont have prescription drug coverage could pay over $300 for two doses of Shingrix. If youre paying for the vaccine yourself, a prescription might not be necessary.

Also Check: Do I Need A Prescription For Shingles Shot

Find Medicare Coverage For Your Shingles Vaccine

Many top Part D companies offer coverage for the shingles vaccine. Companies like Aetna, Cigna, Humana, SilverScript, and WellCare are all known to provide coverage for the shingles shot.

Plans vary across the nation, be sure to verify the policies in your area offer coverage for the shingles shot. An insurance agent is a great resource for finding the most suitable Part D or other Medicare insurance policies for you.

Give us a call at the number above or fill out our online rate form for a personalized plan review because you deserve the best coverage. Start your journey now to compare plans online.

How Does Your Medicare Deductible Affect Your Vaccine Costs

The deductible amount of your Medicare plan affects how much you pay out of pocket before your insurer starts contributing to the cost of your prescription drugs. Depending on how many medications you take, the deductible could affect how much you spend on the vaccine.

Below, we’ll compare how much you’d pay for the shingles vaccine on two plans with different deductibles. In this situation, the person with the MedicareRx Walgreens plan pays less overall, even though they’re paying full price for the shingles vaccine.

Scenario: Shingrix is the only medication needed during the policy

AARP MedicareRx Walgreens
Cost of two doses of Shingrix vaccine $160 each, for a total of $320, because the deductible hasn’t been met $45 copay each, for a total of $90
Total annual cost of premiums and shingles vaccine $788 $1,122

In the example above, the AARP MedicareRx Walgreens prescription drug plan has a $455 deductible for Tier 3 drugs like the shingles vaccine. That means if you haven’t already met your deductible, you would pay full price for the vaccine, which would be $320 for two doses. The plan costs $38.60 per month for someone living in Charlotte, N.C. If the shingles vaccine is the only Tier 3, 4, or 5 drug needed during the policy year, your total annual spending would be $788.

Recommended Reading: Is Shingles Covered By Medicare

Traditional Medicare Part B Does Not Cover Some Recommended Vaccines Including Shingles Shots Prescription Drug Plans Include Commercially Available Vaccinations But Are Likely To Require Some Payments From Beneficiaries

Getty Images

If youre about to make a move to Medicare from your private insurance, you might want to make sure youve had all your shots – especially your vaccination for shingles. Thats because coverage of recommended vaccines under Medicare is more complex than under private health insurance.

Under the Affordable Care Act, private insurers are required to cover all recommended vaccines as preventive care with no out-of-pocket costs to beneficiaries. But under Medicare, different vaccines are covered under different parts of Medicare with inconsistent out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries.

In short, the shingles vaccine is not covered by Medicare unless you have a Part D prescription drug plan or an Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage even then, youre likely to have out-of-pocket costs.

Medicare Part B covers certain vaccines, including flu and pneumonia, but not others, including shingles. Vaccines covered under Part B are provided to beneficiaries at no cost to them.

If you have a prescription drug plan, Medicare Part D, it will cover other commonly available vaccines, including those for shingles. But even then, Part D is not required to provide cost-free coverage of preventive treatments. What this means is medications and vaccines covered by Part D plans will likely be subject to deductibles and copays, resulting in out-of-pocket costs.

Where To Get Vaccinated

Medicare, Medicaid Will Reportedly Cover COVID-19 Vaccine

You have a choice on where to get vaccinated.

In your doctors office: You can get vaccinated in your doctors office. If the office is set up to bill Part D directly for your vaccination, you may only have to pay a copay at the time of your shingles shot. If not, you may have to pay all costs upfront and submit a claim to your Part D plan for reimbursement.

At your local pharmacy: You can go to your local pharmacy to get your shingles shot as long as they offer the vaccine and appropriately trained staff members administer it. The rules for pharmacy vaccination vary by state. You will likely need to pay for the vaccination upfront. Pharmacies are not legally required to dispense medications without payment.

You May Like: Do You Get A Rash With Shingles

How Does Medicare Cover Shingles Shot

Often, I hear about someone confused about how to pay for the shingles vaccination with Medicare. People tell me their friend shingles shot costs very little or nothing, but they were charged hundreds of dollars. It is difficult to understand why vaccinations have such a wide range of out-of-pocket costs. When it comes to vaccination coverage under Medicare, it can get a little complicated.

Shingles is a painful rash that usually develops on one side of your body. It may cause blisters that will scab over. People also can experience fever, chills, headache and upset stomach. Chickenpox is the virus responsible for shingles. Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles. If you have had the chickenpox, the virus is still hiding in your body. For this reason, if you are over age 50, it is recommended you get the shingles vaccination to help prevent the disease from reemerging.

Most vaccinations your doctor recommends will probably be covered under your Part D prescription drug coverage of Medicare. There are some exceptions. Your annual flu, pneumonia, COVID-19 and hepatitis B vaccinations are covered under Medicare Part B. All other vaccinations will be covered under Medicare Part D.

The federal government requires private health insurance companies to cover mostly all recommended vaccinations at no cost. This is not the case with Medicare. If you are going on to Medicare soon, consider getting up to date on all your vaccinations before you go onto Medicare.

Medicare Shingles Vaccine Cost

The full cost of the shingles vaccine from Shingrix is $324, spread out across two shingles shots costing $162 each. If you have a prescription drug plan with Medicare, the approximate cost could be less than $50 per shot, a more than 60% discount from the full price!

While the premium of the prescription drug plan may be higher than that of a Medicare Advantage plan, the prescription drug plan will likely save you money on the vaccine in the long run.

Also Check: Does Shingles Give You Flu Like Symptoms

Medicare Part B Coverage For Shingles Treatment

Shingles appear as a painful rash on one side of your body. You may feel pain, itching, or tingling before the rash develops, and you may also have a fever, headache, or upset stomach. The rash turns into blisters that usually scab up within a week to 10 days.

If you believe you have shingles, its best to see a doctor right away. Prescription antiviral medications can shorten the illness and make it less severe, but they work best if you start taking them as soon as possible after the rash appears. If your pain is severe, your doctor may also prescribe pain medication or give you a corticosteroid injection.

Part B covers a visit to a doctor or urgent care center. It also covers any injections you receive at the doctors office. If you have a Medicare Supplement plan, you may not have to pay anything out of pocket to see a doctor for shingles.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, Part B will still cover doctor visits and injections. But youll have different costs than if you had Medicare.

Find Medicare Plans in 3 Easy Steps

We can help find the right Medicare plans for you today

Where Can I Get Vaccines I Need

Is Shingrix Covered By Medicare Part F

You can get most vaccines at a pharmacy, doctors office, clinic or community health center. Talk with your doctor about what vaccines you may need. Your doctor or Part D plan provider can also help you understand whether your cost will be affected by where you go to get the vaccines that your doctor recommends.

Read Also: Owens Corning Brownwood Shingles Pictures

Whats Shingrix Zostavax And Shingles

FDA approved in 2017, Shingrix is the leading preventive tool against shingles . Shingles is caused by a once dormant chickenpox virus rearing its ugly head to give you a painful rash that can last for up to four weeks. For some, long-term pain continues even after the rash is gone, a condition known as postherpetic neuralgia.

Since 99% of people in the US have chicken pox by age 40, and since the risk of shingles increases with age, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that every healthy adult over 50 get Shingrix.1 Shingrix is over 90% effective at preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia, making it the preferred shingles shot.2 But for those who may be allergic to Shingrix, another shingles vaccine, Zostavax, can be used.

Zostavax may also be covered by Medicare prescription drug insurance , but again, you should check to be sure.

Why Does Medicare Not Cover The Shingles Shot

There are a few reasons why Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover the shingles vaccine. One reason is that the vaccine is not considered to be medically necessary. Medicare only covers preventive care services that are considered medically necessary. Instead, your shingles shot will be covered if you have Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs.

Another reason Medicare does not cover the vaccine is that it is not considered to be cost-effective. Medicare only covers preventive care services that are considered to be cost-effective. The shingles vaccine is not currently considered to be cost-effective by Medicare standards in some cases.

Read Also: Can You Get Shingles From The New Vaccine

Congress Finally Eliminates Part D Vaccine Cost Sharing: Medicare Coverage Is Still Broken

The Inflation Reduction Act leaves intact a peculiar split in Medicare vaccine coverage that discourages physicians from offering certain vaccines, former Moderna Vice President Richard Hughes argues.

Editors note: Richard Hughes is a member of the firm Epstein Becker Green in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice and a former vice president for Moderna.

In its passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, Congress has taken the long overdue step of eliminating out of pocket, or OOP, costs for vaccines under Medicare Part D. The OOP prohibition aligns with policies under Medicare Part B and the Affordable Care Act and removes a pharmacy counter barrier that will undoubtedly lead more seniors to be vaccinated against shingles. However, it leaves intact a peculiar split in Medicare vaccine coverage that discourages physicians from offering certain vaccines.

Does Medicare Pay For Shingles Shots

Shingles vaccine is recommended for healthy older adults

Heres the quick answer

Surprisingly, Original Medicare doesnt cover the shingles vaccine, even though it covers other vaccines like the flu vaccine and pneumonia shot.

On the other hand, Medicare Part Dor a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part D coveragetypically does cover the vaccine.

The devil is in the details

Every Part D plan is different, so your copay for a shingles vaccine could vary from one insurance plan to another. For this reason, its always good to check your plans formulary to see which vaccines they cover and which tier those medications fall under.

Part D covers a lot more than the shingles vaccine, providing coverage for prescription medications. If you need the shingles vaccine and prescription drug coverage, see our guide on how to find the best Part D plan for you, or learn more about Part D first.

Read Also: What Are The Risks Of The Shingles Vaccine

How Much Does The Shingles Shot Cost

There is currently only one shingles vaccine available in the United States, sold under the brand name Shingrix. An older shingles vaccine called Zostavax was taken off the market in November 2020.

Shingrix is delivered in two shots. Without insurance, each shot retails for around $202 for a total of $404, according to GoodRX in 2021. Discounts can lower that cost by nearly $50 per shot.

Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans may cover most of the cost of the Shingrix vaccine, but you could have out-of-pocket costs for both the shot and your doctor visits.

Before getting the vaccine, check with your plans administrator to make sure your policy covers the shingles shot.

What Are The Side Effects Of Shingrix

The most common side effects include pain and inflammation at the injection site, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, stomach discomfort, fever, and shivering, according to GSK.

Allergic reactions are less common but still possible. Watch for signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives, swelling of the face or throat, trouble breathing, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. This is considered an emergency, so call 911.

Don’t Miss: How Do You Know You Have Shingles

What Shingles Vaccines Are Available

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , there are 2 vaccines licensed and recommended to prevent shingles in the U.S.: Shingrix and Zostavax.2 The CDC recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older get 2 doses of Shingrix, separated by 2 to 6 months, to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease.3

Popular Articles
Related news