Shingles Vaccinations - Are they covered by Medicare?

Have you ever had the chickenpox? If so, then you may experience a reactivation of this virus called shingles. Shingles is a viral infection that develops a painful rash causing blisters in a stripe or patch. The rash can develop anywhere on the body but is commonly found around either side of your torso. Shingles can even be found in eyes, which can lead to permanent eye damage if left untreated. The shingles virus symptoms can also include a fever, headache, or fatigue along with the rash. They do go away, however, after days or even weeks. If you are 50 or over, your risk of developing shingles increases. In fact, studies show that half of people age 80 or over will have shingles at some point.

Does Medicare cover the shingles vaccination?

With such high diagnosis numbers, the shingles vaccination is important to be aware of. Unfortunately, it is not covered by Original Medicare, Parts A or B. However, you still may be able to save money! By enrolling in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan (MA-PD), you can get coverage for generally all commercially available vaccinations, and Medicare requires all Prescription Drug Plans to cover the shingles vaccination. You may, however, be responsible for a copay or must meet a deductible first.

It is important to make sure you are getting services from a preferred pharmacy or a pharmacy in your drug plan’s network to save the most money. If you do not use a preferred pharmacy or one in your plan’s network, you will be charged more than your plan’s normal copay or even be required to pay the full cost of the drug. If vaccinated in a doctor’s office, ask your doctor is they will bill your plan directly. If they do not have access to do so, you may be required to pay the bill upfront and then be reimbursed. 

I want to save, but where do I go to find the right plan?

Interested in obtaining a plan that can help you save, not only on the shingles vaccination, but with other medical needs, too? Give us a call at MWG Senior Services. Our friendly advisors will help you determine which is best for you and your specific situation. As an added service to our Medicare Supplement clients, we will provide an annual prescription drug plan review and assist in getting retirees additional benefits once they retire, such as dental, vision, hearing, long-term care, and cancer plans.

If you have questions about navigating the ever-changing Medicare maze or retirement insurance options, we have advisors ready to light the way! Call us at (877) 759-5760 or email It’s that simple!

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