Does Medicare Cover Shingles Vaccine?

Medicare does cover the shingles vaccine but it is only covered under the Part D section of Medicare, which is the plan that covers your drug expenses. When you enroll in the part D section of Medicare and need a shingles vaccine, you will be covered by this plan and you may need to pay any leftover costs that are not included in Part D. If you are going to receive the shingles vaccine at a pharmacy, the pharmacy must fall under the Part D plan from Medicare.

Factors That Contribute to Cost of Shingles Vaccine

Some of the factors that contribute to the cost of the shingles vaccine include administration fee of the dosage, consultation fee, price of the vaccine and other fees. If you do not have health insurance you would pay up to $250 for the shingles vaccine and this is why it is a good idea to enroll in Medicare or another type of health insurance to reduce vaccine costs.

Reasons Why Seniors People Do Not Get Vaccinated

According to the Center for Disease Control, less than seven percent of seniors are not vaccinated and one reason is because they do not feel they can afford the cost without Medicare or other health insurance. This is despite the fact that one in ten seniors get shingles annually. This has a negative impact on seniors who are on fixed incomes. Other seniors have not received the vaccine because of a lack of understanding about the importance of the vaccine.

What About Those Who Are Not Able to Enroll in Medicare?

While the shingles vaccine is generally recommended for seniors since they are at high risk of getting shingles, you want to get the shingles vaccine if you had chicken pox as a child. If you are a young adult or someone in his 30s and 40s, you can talk with your health insurance provider to find out if they cover the shingles vaccine.

Other Ways to Get Shingles Vaccine In An Affordable Way

Aside from enrolling in the Part D section of Medicare or obtaining private health insurance, you can visit community health clinics that offer free shingles vaccines for low-income persons. If you go to a health seminar, you may be able to get a free shingles vaccine.


The shingles vaccine is important because it gives protection against the illness. However, if you have another medical condition or allergies, this may not be the best choice for you. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are encouraged not to take the shingles vaccine because of possible harm to the baby. Read your Medicare packet carefully and enroll in Part D if you want coverage of the shingles vaccine. Talk to your doctor to make sure you are in good shape to get the vaccine and you want to ask questions if you are unclear about the side effects of the vaccine.

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