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Does Medicare Advantage Cover Shingles Vaccine

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Shingles vaccine is recommended for healthy older adults

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Medicare & Shingles Shot Or Shingrix

Being covered by Medicare has many advantages because it helps you reduce the costs of many supplies and, thus, save money.

However, does it cover the shingles shot? Read to find out.

What Is Shingles?

Shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It affects the skin, causing a rash, and sometimes it leads to nerve pain. People who had chickenpox have a higher chance of developing shingles.

While the virus may reappear anytime in people of many ages, people over 50 are the most likely to be affected by it.

Shingles starts off as a pain and itching on a specific spot of the skin. After a few days, the rash becomes visible and it looks similar to chickenpox. An episode of shingles usually lasts about 2-4 weeks.

Even if shingles is not contagious, the virus can spread to someone who has not had chickenpox. The person doesnt contact shingles, but chickenpox. The virus can spread by making contact with the fluid from the blisters. Also, its good to know that chickenpox has a higher contagiousness than shingles.

Does Medicare Cover the Shingles Shot?

Sadly, the answer to this question is no, unless you have a prescription plan.

The shingles shot is not be covered by Medicare Part A or Part B. Unlike other vaccines, it can only be covered by Medicare prescription drug plans . Thus, you have to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or a stand-alone Part D drug plan to cover the costs.

How Much Does A Vaccine Cost With Wellcare

Medicare Part B offers flu, pneumococcal, Hepatitis B and COVID-19 vaccines and boosters at no cost to the beneficiary when the vaccine is administered by a provider who accepts Medicare assignment, which means they agree to accept the Medicare-approved amount as payment in full for the vaccination they provide.

That means the Part B annual deductible does not apply, and the provider is not allowed to charge a copayment or coinsurance. These no-cost vaccines are also protected by the Affordable Care Act .

Medicare Advantage plans are required to fully cover these vaccines at no cost to the plan member. However, Medicare Advantage plans do maintain some freedom to issue a copay or apply a deductible when the vaccine is administered by an out-of-network provider or administered outside other terms and conditions set forth by the plan. Its advised to check with your Wellcare plan directly for any cost information pertaining to covered vaccines.

Your Wellcare plan may apply a deductible or charge copayments or coinsurance for some vaccines not listed above. Once again, consult your plans benefits to be sure.

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Vaccines Covered By Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B covers three important vaccines as part of its preventive care benefits.

Covered vaccines include the following:

  • Flu vaccine: Annual vaccine given in one shot before or during flu season, usually November through April
  • Pneumonia vaccine: One-time vaccine given in two shots at least one year apart
  • Hepatitis B vaccine: One-time vaccine given in two to four shots over one to six months for people who are medium to high risk, including people with diabetes

Part B also covers vaccines you may need if youre exposed to a harmful virus or bacteria by accident. You might need a tetanus shot, for example, if you step on a rusty nail. Or you may need rabies shots if youre bitten by a stray dog.

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.

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Shingles Medicare Billing Problems

Heres a quick reminder about a billing issue that we commonly resolve for our clients. Many doctors continue to bill this to Medicare Part B, and then the bill gets rejected. Once the rejection happens, far too many Medicare beneficiaries just pay these bills without questioning them. One client remembered that our Client Service Team provides FREE help resolving bills like these and called us for support.

Her doctors office had tried to bill her $710 for this medication which is ridiculous! The shingles vaccine costs between $150 $300, and if your Part D plan is covering part of the cost, even less. So, please dont pay any medical bills that you receive without checking with us first.

Do you have questions about which Medicare plans will cover the shingles vaccine? Or perhaps you need help finding a drug plan that includes other vaccines covered by Medicare Part D? Give us a call.

Who Should Not Get The Shingles Vaccine

Certain people should not receive the vaccine or should wait before getting the Shingrix shingles vaccine.

Who Should Avoid the Shingles Vaccine

  • People who have had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or to a previous Shingrix vaccination
  • People who have tested negative for immunity to the varicella zoster virus

If you currently have shingles, you should wait until you recover before getting the shot. Even after you have had shingles, the painful condition can return.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also wait before getting the shingles vaccine.

If you have a moderate or severe illness that starts suddenly something doctors call an acute illness you should usually wait until you fully recover before getting the shingles shot.

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You Can Get A Shingles Vaccine Two Ways:

At the pharmacy. Youll still need a doctors prescription, but once thats been transmitted, you can get the shot at a retail pharmacy.

Most major chains and some independent pharmacies can administer the vaccine. Just make sure to use a store in your drug plans network so that it can bill your plan directly and youll owe just the copayment.

At the doctors office. If youre vaccinated in a doctors office, check whether it can bill your drug plan directly or works with a pharmacy that can do so. If so, it will work as mentioned above, with you owing a copayment. If not, you may need to pay the full cost up front and then file a claim for reimbursement from your plan.

Remember that the doctors fee for administering the vaccine may exceed your plans allowable charge, in which you case youre on the hook for the difference. It pays to check beforehand.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Jan. 1, 2014. It has been updated with the latest information regarding Medicare coverage in 2020.

Does Medicare Pay For Shingrix In 2021

Avoiding vaccine-related Medicare scams

Medicare coverage is available for Shingrix and Zostavax, the two commercially available shingles vaccines. However its only if you are enrolled in a stand-alone Part D drug plan or an Medicare Advantage Plan that includes prescription drug benefitsA law passed by Congress has made sure all Americans can access healthcare services without worrying about their insurance coverages because theyre able to get free preventative checkups at no cost throughandedicareplus during any oral health visits including ones related specifically against diseases like cancer

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Can You Get Shingles If You Had The Chickenpox Vaccine

It depends. Anyone who has ever had chickenpox is susceptible to shingles. When the chickenpox virus comes out of hiding and reactivates, it causes numbness, tingling, blisters, and sometimes flu-like symptoms. If you never had chickenpox because you were vaccinated, you run a very low risk of getting shingles.

What Is Shingles And How Do You Catch It

Shingles is a painful skin rash that forms on one side of the body. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus. Shingles can affect people who have had chickenpox, even if they had the illness long ago.

Once youve had chickenpox, the virus becomes inactive in the body and can reactivate years later. The virus can remain inactive in your nerve roots for many years, and then wake up and travel down the path of a sensory nerve to the skincausing shingles. You may develop shingles more than once in your lifetime.

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Does Medicare Cover Shingles Vaccines

Most health insurance companies cover shingles vaccines, and so does Medicare. However, Original Medicare coverage wont cover the vaccines. You must be enrolled in a Medicare Part D drug plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes drug coverage in order to have prescription drug coverage that covers shingles vaccines. Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B , components of Original Medicare, wont cover shingles vaccines.

Other Medicare supplement plans, like Medigaps, dont cover shingles vaccines either.

You can enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan by itself, or enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part A, B, and D coverage. Either of these options will usually cover the Shingrix vaccine.

Every Medicare Part D plan is different and copays or coinsurance may vary from plan to plan. Deductibles also may apply.

Different Medicare Part D plans classify medications and vaccinations into different tiers. What tier your plan puts shingles vaccinations into will determine your copay. The best way to determine the insurance plan thats best for you is to compare formularies to find the one that covers as many of your medications and vaccinations as possible or contact Medicare customer support.

Will Medicare Pay For Shingrix

Does Medicare Cover Shingles Vaccine [Shingrix or Others ...

You are going to want to make sure you have the correct Medicare plan .

BGA Insurance Group can help ensure that you are not surprised by charges you were not expecting. If you believe you need to get certain vaccines or prescription medications, you should contact us immediately to help you select a plan that makes the most sense for you.

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About Your Part D Vaccine Coverage

Getting the vaccinations you need is important for your best health. Getting vaccines administered at the right location is important for your best coverage. Learn about your vaccine coverage, administration options, and what you should expect to pay below.

We understand the rules for coverage of vaccinations are complicated. Thats why we are here to help. Call Customer Service when you are planning to get a vaccination.

PPO members: call and select option 2.

HMO members: call and select option 2.

We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Where Can I Get Vaccines I Need

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.

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Medicare Part B Part B Covers Certain Doctors’ Services Outpatient Care Medical Supplies And Preventive Services

Does medicare cover shingles and pneumonia vaccines. Medicare part b covers one shot. Despite its high level of efficacy, shingrix is not covered under the medicare part b umbrella. However, if youre enrolled in a medicare prescription drug plan or have a medicare advantage plan that includes drug coverage, your shot may be covered.*.

Part b covers the first shot at any time and a different, second shot. Key takeaways medicare part d plans cover all commercially available vaccines, except those medicare part b covers, when they are reasonable and necessary to prevent illness. Medicare part a or medicare part b doesn’t cover the shingles shot.

The severity of the symptoms depends on each person, but they include the following: En español | unlike some common vaccines, like those for the flu, hepatitis b and pneumonia, shingles shots are not covered under medicare part b, the component of original medicare that includes doctor visits and outpatient services. Part b of original medicare does cover the pneumonia vaccine, but there are certain limitations, according to medicare.gov:

High risk groups are identified as: Original medicare does not cover the shingles vaccine. Does medicare part d cover the shingles vaccine?

Part a, which deals with hospital costs, doesnt cover shingles shots either. There is one vaccine for shingles approved in the united states called shingrix. Original medicare does not pay for the shingles vaccine.

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Does Medicare Cover The Shingles Vaccine

What Does Medicare Actually Cover?

While Original Medicare does not cover the shingles vaccine, called Shingrix, some Medicare Advantage plans and some Medicare Part D plans may offer coverage for the vaccine.

Medicare Part B covers a small handful of vaccines for the flu, Hepatitis B and the pneumococcal vaccine.

But because vaccines are categorized as a drug, these shots are typically covered by the prescription drug benefits offered by Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans.

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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.

Does Aetna Medicare Cover Shingles Vaccine

Vaccinations are a critical part of overall health for developing bodies, but theyre also beneficial for adults who require protection from viruses. Following a proper vaccination schedule as recommended by a physician can help to prevent a number of conditions, including the herpes zoster virus, also known as shingles.

Understanding the Effects of ShinglesWhen someone contracts shingles, the disease typically manifests itself through the development of a painful rash. This rash is often red in color and may also include the development of blisters. Those affected may also develop a fever, experience fatigue and suffer from frequent headaches during an outbreak. The rash associated with shingles will usually be located on one side of the torso, but it may appear on both sides or on other areas of the body.

Because the virus takes hold in nerve tissue, pain medication specifically targeting nerve damage may be used. Even after someone has suffered an outbreak and it looks like the symptoms are gone, the disease can still lie dormant for years before striking again. Transmission of shingles often happens through contact with the rash and affected cells that may leak from a blister.

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Will Medicare Cover My Shingles Vaccine

NEW YORKAugust 20, 2021

Original Medicare, Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B do not cover the shingles vaccine. However, the right Medicare Supplement Plans will cover shingles shots and other vaccines.

Medicare Part D, Medicares prescription drug plan that you can purchase with Medicare or Medicare Advantage, covers the vaccine, but otherwise you will likely have to pay out of pocket. If you havent hit your plans deductible for the year, you will pay the full price for the vaccine.

What is shingles?

Shingles is a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. If youve had chickenpox before, the virus can remain dormant in your nerve tissue near the brain or spinal cord. After many years, the virus may reactivate as shingles, which causes a rash that can be very painful, but it is not life-threatening. However, shingles can lead to complications.


Shingles usually appear in small areas of the body as red rashes that can itch, tingle, or burn. You might also find blisters, or the area is very sensitive to the touch. Some people also experience fever, headaches, sensitivity to light, and fatigue.

Sometimes shingles can be mistaken for heart, kidney, or liver problems if the pain manifests near those organs.



Are shingles contagious?

Should I get a shingles vaccine?

Where can I get a shingles vaccine?

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What You Pay Depends On 3 Things


What you pay at the time when you get a Part D vaccination varies depending on the circumstance. Sometimes when you get your vaccine, you will have to pay the entire cost for both the vaccine medication and for getting the vaccine shot. You can ask our plan to pay you back for our share of the cost. Other times, when you get the vaccine medication or the vaccine, you will pay only your share of the cost.

1. The type of vaccination

Some vaccines are considered Part D drugs. You can find these vaccines listed in the formulary. Other vaccines are considered Part B medical benefits. You can read how these vaccines are covered in the Medical Benefits Chart in Chapter 4 of your Evidence of Coverage .

2. Where you get the vaccine medication

Vaccine medications could be purchased from a pharmacy or from your doctors office.

3. Who gives you the vaccine

You could have the pharmacist or your provider administer your shot.

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