Shingles in the elderly is a painful rash that affects your skin. Can you get shingles if you had the chickenpox vaccine. It depends. Anyone who has ever had chicken pox is susceptible to shingles. When the chicken pox virus comes out of hiding and reactivates, it causes symptoms such as numbness, tingling, blisters, and also sometimes flu-like symptoms. If you never had chicken pox because you were vaccinated, you run a very low risk of getting shingles.
There are an estimated 1 million new cases of shingles each year in the United states. The risk of an outbreak increases with age, so people over the age of 65 are more susceptible than younger adults. For this reason, many doctors encourage people on Medicare to get vaccinated. The age for shingles vaccine is 50 or older.
Cost of Shingles Vaccine under Medicare Part D
Medicare Part B itself does not cover the shingles vaccine. This means if your doctor administers it to you, and bills Medicare, it won’t be covered.
However, many Part D drug plan carriers offer the vaccine, called Zostravax, on their formulary. Check your Part D drug formulary to make sure your plan covers it. Whoever administers the vaccine – your doctor or a pharmacist – needs to bill your Medicare Part D carrier.
You will then pay only a co-payment or co-insurance for your share of the vaccine cost. Our experience has been that most Part D plans cover about half of the cost of the shingles vaccine.
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.