Do You Need the Shingles Vaccine? Medicare Part D Will Cover It!

Healthcare experts are urging older individuals to get the new shingles vaccine. For those who worry about the cost, Medicare Part D will cover it.

As you get older, your risk of having shingles increases— especially if you had chickenpox at a younger age. This viral infection causes pain and skin rashes, along with other symptoms. It can also cause serious problems, such as vision loss, nerve damage, and skin infections. If you are at least 50 years old, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting the new shingles vaccine, known as Shingrix. Enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan for seniors helps ensure that the cost of this vaccine is covered for you.

Shingles Vaccines

There is more than one kind of vaccine available to lower the risk of shingles. Zostavax has been used for more than a decade for those who are at least 60 years old, but this vaccine has its limitations. The effectiveness of this vaccine tends to wear off in about 5 years, and it is not recommended for those with compromised immune systems, as it’s a live vaccine given as a single dose in your upper arm.

Shingrix is the new vaccine for shingles that the CDC is encouraging older individuals to get, even if they have received the Zostavax vaccine before. Shingrix is a non-living vaccine, making it safer for those who have weakened immune systems. Shingrix protects from the shingles virus for more than 5 years, and it has been shown to have a high rate of effectiveness for those who are 50 and older. This vaccine is usually administered in two injections between two and six-month timeframe. You might experience some soreness and redness at the injection site, but more severe side effects are rare.

Shingles Vaccine Coverage

Shingles vaccinations, including Shingrix, are covered under Medicare Part D since they are considered necessary for preventing this potentially serious illness. Going through a doctor’s office to get this vaccine with Medicare Part D coverage can be a complicated process when it comes to billing and reimbursement. Visiting a pharmacy that offers these vaccines can make it easier for older individuals to get shingles protection without having to worry about any billing complications.

Keep in mind that you need to enroll in Medicare Part D during open enrollment between October 15th and December 7th, or a few months before or after turning 65. There are also special enrollment periods that you might qualify for under certain conditions, such as losing coverage from an employer. At Smith Caldwell Drug Store, we can help you enroll in Medicare Part D coverage to make sure you get the vaccinations needed.

If you need more information on Medicare Part D pharmacy enrollment, please contact Smith Caldwell Drug Store at 501-315-7700. Our Benton drug store provides this service, as well as vaccinations to help you stay healthy.