Does Medicare Cover the Shingles Vaccine?

Victoria Burke by Victoria Burke | Licensed since 2011

This article was updated on: 09/16/2018

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Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, don’t cover the shingles vaccine. Medicare Part D (optional prescription drug coverage), on the other hand, may cover the shingles vaccine, as well as other commercially available vaccines.

Shingles is a painful rash caused by the varicella zoster virus (also called herpes zoster), the same virus that causes chickenpox, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even if you had chickenpox earlier in life, the virus can reactivate in your body and cause shingles, usually in your senior years.

If you have Original Medicare, you can sign up for Medicare prescription drug coverage, which is sold by private companies that have agreements with Medicare.  You can either get a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to supplement your Original Medicare coverage or get all your Medicare benefits (including Part A and Part B benefits) in a single plan by signing up for a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan.

If you’re enrolled in a Medicare drug plan, check your plan materials, search the plan website, or contact the plan to see whether it covers the shingles vaccine. Copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles may vary among plans, as will monthly premium rates.

If your Medicare insurance is lacking prescription drug coverage, I’d be pleased to help you find it. I often help Medicare beneficiaries with this kind of request. Want to watch a brief video about me and why I like assisting Medicare beneficiaries? The orange button below my picture will take you there. You can follow the links at the end of this article if you’d prefer to schedule a phone call with me, or have me send you some information by email. The blue Find Your Plan button on the right lets you start comparing plans right away.

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