A REALLY NASTY VIRUS
When I was 21 years old I had an outbreak of shingles. To this day, it is the most painful medical memory of my life. I still have the physical scars from it.
I was surprised to learn that shingles is usually considered a disease of middle age and the elderly. The incidence of shingles seems to decrease after the age of 80. The bad news is that the entire Baby Boomer population is ripe for getting this virus. The good news is that there is a vaccine for it that shows about a 50 - 70% success rate in preventing shingles outbreaks.
OUT OF POCKETS COSTS
The shingles vaccine is the most expensive vaccine recommended for the elderly. It costs about $200. Not all insurance plans cover it, but Medicare Part D does.
If you want to be inoculated in your doctor’s office you may have to pay for it out-of-pocket and then get reimbursed. This is because doctors are paid through Medicare Part B, which is a different Medicare benefit from Part D (the drug benefit).
The FDA now recommends it for people over age 50. Check with your insurance provider to learn if you have coverage for it. There are pros and cons for getting any kind of vaccination. Do your own research and decide for yourself. I just know that if you do have an outbreak, the pain can be excruciating, and you will wish you had been vaccinated.
More about shingles in the following video. Follow this link for more information from the Mayo Clinic.