Shingles vaccine recommended by CDC, but expensive - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Shingles vaccine recommended by CDC, but expensive

(WMC-TV) - The shingles can be painful and if you have had the chicken pox, you already have the virus that causes ... And many of us already have the virus which causes it.

Singles is a viral infection that is not life threatening but can be extremely painful. It's more common with the elderly but we got a call into our Action News 5 Investigator's tip line saying that while the CDC recommends anyone older than 60 years old get the shot, it is too expensive for seniors on a fixed income.

The average price for a shingles vaccine will cost $220.

"It's not inexpensive but the sooner you can find out if your insurance will cover it the better off you are," said Dr. James T. Jennings, Family Medicine.

The Shot Nurse in Memphis carries the vaccine. The staff there says most customers with some form of insurance coverage pay around $95 for the vaccine.

"It's currently approved by most insurances for everyone over the age of 60," said Dr. Jennings. "There are some insurances that will pay for it over the age of 50."

Where it gets tricky is if you have Medicare.

According to AARP, the shingles vaccine is only covered under the Medicare part D prescription drug program. That pays part of the cost, but you will be responsible for some cost as well.

There are some issues to watch out for if you decide to get the vaccine.

Make sure if you get the vaccine at a pharmacy or doctor's office, that it is part of your plan's network.

Also, make sure your doctor's office can bill your plan directly otherwise you'll have to pay the entire cost up front.

The Shelby County Health Department does not offer the vaccine.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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