Does Medicare Cover the Shingles Vaccine?
Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C plans) that cover prescription drugs typically do cover the costs of a commercially-available shingles vaccine.
Caused by the same virus that leads to chickenpox, shingles is a blistering rash most commonly found in older adults. It can lead to severe nerve pain if left untreated.
When Does Medicare Cover a Shingles Vaccination?
While Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not cover the costs of receiving the shingles vaccine, a number of vaccines — including the shingles vaccine — are generally covered by:
Medicare Advantage plans that cover prescription drugs (90% of Medicare Advantage plans cover prescription drugs)1
You can compare Part D plans available where you live and enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan online when you visit MyRxPlans.com.
If you have a Medicare plan that covers prescription drugs, the cost you might pay to receive the shingles vaccine varies from plan to plan, depending on factors such as:
Whether the pharmacy you use is in your plan’s network
Whether you’ve met your plan deductible
If you qualify for Extra Help paying your Medicare prescription drug costs
Medicare Part B (medical insurance) covers some of the costs of doctor's office visits, medical supplies and other outpatient health care services.
Certain preventive services, including some routine vaccinations, are covered by Medicare Part B:
Pneumococcal shots, which help prevent certain infections like pneumonia
Hepatitis B vaccine
Tdap shots to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis
How Does Shingles Affect Older Adults
If you ever developed and recovered from chickenpox, you could potentially develop singles.
People who suffer from a case of shingles will typically have only that one episode, though it is possible to have a recurrence of shingles a second or third time.
Find Medicare Supplement Plans That Help Cover Your Preventive Care
If you receive preventive medical care that is covered by Original Medicare, you may likely face out-of-pocket Medicare costs such as deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.
You may be able to find a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan in your area that can help cover some of these costs.
For example, each of the 10 standardized Medigap plans that are available in most states provide at coverage for Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments you might face when you receive covered preventive care and other covered treatments.
Learn more about common procedures that medicare covers.
A licensed agent can help you decide on a Medicare option that works for you. Call today to speak with a licensed agent and compare the Medigap plans that are available where you live.
Find Medicare plans in your area.Compare Plans
1 Jacobson, Gretchen; et al. Medicare Advantage 2020 Spotlight: First Look. (Oct. 24, 2020). Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved from www.kff.org/report-section/medicare-advantage-2020-spotlight-first-look-data-note.
Christian Worstell is a health care and policy writer for MedicareSupplement.com. He has written hundreds of articles helping people better understand their Medicare coverage options.