[NavBar.htm]

Senior Journal: Today's News and Information for Senior Citizens & Baby Boomers

More Senior Citizen News and Information Than Any Other Source - SeniorJournal.com

• Go to more on Medicare or Medicare Drug Program More Senior News at SeniorJournal.com on the Front Page

 
 

E-mail this page to a friend!

Medicare News

Shingles Vaccination Not Covered for Some in Medicare; It is for Some Boomers

Seniors face many obstacles to getting needed vaccines, including the shingles vaccine

Sept. 14, 2012 – The shingles vaccine – its cost, its coverage by Medicare, its coverage provided by Medicare supplement insurance, its coverage by the drug program – are frequent questions among senior citizens. This week the answers are provided by Michelle Andrews in her column for Kaiser News, “Insuring Your Health.”

Q. I have Medicare and a Plan F Medigap plan, so I should be covered for all medical needs. But in order to get the shingles vaccination, it will cost me $185. I can't pay this without using my grocery or prescription money. It's totally unfair. What can I do?

Answer by Michelle Andrews -

Shingles is a painful rash caused by a virus that can lead to long-term nerve damage called postherpetic neuralgia. All Medicare Part D prescription drug plans cover the shingles vaccine, which is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for people age 60 and older.

 

Related Archive Stories

 
 

Relief from Pain of Shingles May Soon by On Way with Horizant Approval by FDA

See video

GSK and XenoPort get approval for valuable drug to treat postherpetic neuralgia but relief for senior victims may be delayed by contract dispute, says Reuters - June 8, 2012

FDA Issues Alert on Reumofan Plus. Dietary Supplement Used for Pain Relief

Health officials in Mexico order recall based on potentially harmful pharmaceutical ingredients - June 8, 2012


More links below news report...
 
 

Read the latest news
> Medicare
> Senior Politics
>
Today's Headlines

> Medicare Drug Program prior to 2009

 

But Medigap plans, which may cover the deductible and coinsurance amounts for services provided under Medicare Parts A and B (hospitalization and outpatient care), don't offer any financial help on the co-payments for vaccines and other drugs covered under Part D.

A Government Accountability Office report published in December found that seniors faced many obstacles to getting needed vaccines, including the shingles vaccine. Many physicians don't recommend or even stock the shingles vaccine, the report found. The amount that the patient pays out of pocket for that vaccine could also be a barrier, according to the report.

If the only health coverage you have is through Medicare and your Medigap plan, there are still ways you may be able to reduce your co-payment for the vaccine, says David Lipschutz, a policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy in Washington.

First, if you have Part D coverage, contact your plan to make sure the co-payment you're being quoted is accurate.

In addition, many doctors who don't stock the vaccine ask patients to buy it from the pharmacy. If that's the case, make sure the pharmacy is in your plan's network so you'll owe a smaller co-payment than if you buy the vaccine from an out-of-network pharmacy, Lipschutz says.

If the vaccine co-payment is still too high, it may be worth looking into other Part D plans or signing up for one during the upcoming annual enrollment period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Depending on your other prescription drug needs and coverage, you may be able to find a better deal, Lipschutz says.

It's worth noting that under the 2010 health care law, people who have new private health insurance plans and those whose plan benefits have changed significantly are eligible to receive, free of charge, vaccines recommended by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Plan members who are in their early 60s, therefore, might qualify for a shingles vaccine without a co-pay.

 > More From This Series Insuring Your Health


Links to More Archived Reports About Shingles

Shingles, a Disease Primarily Striking Senior Citizens, Increases Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

A virus associated with MS is varicella zoster virus, the cause of herpes zoster (shingles) - see video on shingles - June 8, 2011

Herpes Zoster Vaccine Associated With Lower Risk of Shingles in Most Older Adults

Confirms other studies showing more than half of seniors will be protected by shot but they are still not getting it (not covered by Medicare) - link to video in story

Jan. 11, 2011


Family History of Shingles May Be Motivator to Get Vaccination

May 19, 2008 ... Researchers report those who do get herpes zoster, or shingles, are much more likely than others to have a family history of the condition.


FDA Says Senior Citizens Should Get Shingles Vaccine but Many Docs Not Buying It

Mayo Clinic study finds two issues – cost and perception that shingles primarily affects just those with weakened immune systems

Dec. 18, 2007


Top 10 Stories of 2006 by Harvard Health Letter Picks Key Ones for Senior Citizens

Lucentis for macular degeneration, Zostavax for shingles make list

December 4, 2006


Shingles Vaccinations Recommended for All 60 and Over

CDC committee says action needed to prevent painful disease

October 26, 2006


Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Approved for Senior Citizens

FDA says it is for those age 60 and older who are most at risk

May 26, 2006

 

Some of this information is reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives and sign up for email delivery. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

 

Search for more about this topic on SeniorJournal.com

Google Web SeniorJournal.com

Keep up with the latest news for senior citizens, baby boomers

Click to More Senior News on the Front Page

Copyright: SeniorJournal.com

    

 

Published by New Tech Media - www.NewTechMedia.com

Other New Tech Media sites include CaroleSutherland.com, BethJanicek.com, SASeniors.com, DrugDanger.com, etc.