Shingles is a painful rash that affects your skin. Anyone who has ever had chicken pox is susceptible to shingles, when the chicken pox virus comes out of hiding and reactivates, causing symptoms such as numbness, tingling, blisters, and also sometimes flu-like symptoms. There are an estimated 1 million new cases of shingles each year in the United states, and the risk of an outbreak increases with age, so people over the age of 65 are more susceptible than younger adults.
Medicare Part B itself does not cover the shingles vaccine. However, many Part D drug plan carriers offer the vaccine, called Zostravax, on their formulary. You will pay a co-payment or co-insurance for your share of the vaccine cost. If you wish to get the shingles vaccine, talk to your doctor about prescribing it for you.
Shingles Medicare Billing Problems
Just a quick note 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 get rejected. Once the rejection happens, far too many Medicare beneficiary just pay these bills without questioning them. One astute client remembered that our Client Service Team provides FREE help resolving bills like these and called us for support.
Her doctor’s office had tried to bill her $710 for this medication – which is ridiculous! The shingles vaccine costs between $200 – $300. Most Part D plans will pay 50% of that. So don’t pay any medical bills that you receive without checking with us first.