Importance of Vaccinations in the Medicare Population

Posted:December 12, 2016

It’s easy for people over 65 to get the vaccines they need, but older adults are still skipping vaccinations.

A list of reasons for skipping adult vaccinations can include complacency – one’s belief that they won’t get shingles, pneumonia or meningitis. Our Retiree Advocates also receive calls from members asking how their insurance covers vaccinations. Vaccines such as Zostavax for shingles and each season’s flu shot are always covered, but they are billed differently. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) normally covers one flu shot per flu season, while the shingles vaccine is covered under Medicare Part D (prescription drug insurance).

Medicare Part D covers preventive vaccinations other than the flu, pneumonia and hepatitis B vaccines. Medicare Part B covers those three preventive shots, in addition to vaccinations related to the treatment of an illness or injury.