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t/j Shingles

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Lionne posted 5/27/2014 14:40 PM

I am lucky enough to have EXCELLENT health care. And I am proactive about my health. In an effort to avoid shingles, I know how painful they are, my younger brother and sister both had them last year, I scheduled an immunization for today, since I am now 60, it is a covered benefit. Well, doctors' offices don't have it, I have to go to Walgreen's, not even my usual pharmacy, they tell me I need a script, my doctor hasn't ever heard of this, I need to pay upfront, $245, and I'll be reimbursed.

It's fine, I know people go through this and more for routine care. It just seems silly for a no brainer vaccine.

tushnurse posted 5/27/2014 14:55 PM

Many PCP offices don't carry the vaccine because of the cost of it. They don't want the hassle.
I was under the understanding though that Walgreens, or other pharmacies that carry it would provide it and submit it to your insurance once you have it. I don't think an order is required. I would try another Walgreens.

This doesn't make sense to me, and usually if something doesn't make sense it's not right. ....

[This message edited by tushnurse at 3:05 PM, May 27th (Tuesday)]

Lionne posted 5/27/2014 15:07 PM

No, I confirmed the reimbursement issue with my insurance carrier. They certainly discourage people to get inoculated! I was surprised, as I suspect with our aging population that more of us will be prone to this virus. I had chicken pox, as did my sibs and my kids, 25 years ago the varicella vaccine was only just being given. Seems like poor medical practice to me, but I'm just a teacher not a medical person...

purplejacket4 posted 5/27/2014 15:19 PM

I find it concerning the PCP has not heard of it. This has been available for at least 2-3 years.

Lionne posted 5/27/2014 15:25 PM

Double post

[This message edited by scaredyKat at 3:26 PM, May 27th (Tuesday)]

Lionne posted 5/27/2014 15:25 PM

No, the PCP has heard of it, just apparently doesn't get many people asking for and/or requiring prescriptions in order to get it elsewhere.

I'm not all that happy that the pharmacist is going to be the one administering the shot. Not to offend anyone, but I doubt if they are giving shots too often...

So, with all this trouble, do I skip this???!!!

Dreamboat posted 5/27/2014 15:49 PM

When my DD got the Guardisil vaccine (for HPV), the Dr wrote a prescription, I brought it to the pharmacy, they ordered it, I picked it up several days later and brought it (and my DD) back to the DR to administer the shot. I had to do this 3 times because the vaccine requires 3 administrations. But I only had to pay the co-pay at the pharmacy (3 times), not pay full price and get reimburse. That hassle was worth it to me to prevent DD from getting most forms of HPV.

If I were you I would do it, especially since you have 2 family members who have already had shingles. I don't think they know why it affects some people but not others, but I would not take a chance with genetics. You could ask if you can take the vaccine back to the Dr to have the nurse administer it. But then, pharmacists administer the flu vaccine so I imagine that are competent.

Kajem posted 5/27/2014 16:09 PM

Find a walgreens with a Mediclinic they'll have a nurse available got shots.

Lionne posted 5/27/2014 16:12 PM

That's what I thought I did. Nurse doesn't do it. Pharmacist does. CVS also. News to me.

Wish I could take my kid with me. I trust him to give it.

I won't whine. How bad can it be?

tushnurse posted 5/28/2014 07:56 AM

It's not that bad and giving shots is not rocket science. Let's face it pharmacists learn lots harder stuff than most nurses. They can give a shot.

It not like they said here give these shots without teaching them.

Cally60 posted 5/28/2014 11:47 AM

That's interesting. Once I reached the relevant age, my doctor's office kept sending me nagging reminders about the shingles shot and didn't stop until I agreed to let my doctor give me the shot!

However, once I accepted that I should have it, my doctor did advise me to check with my insurance company. I thought she said that not all insurance companies would cover it, in which case, it would be cheaper for me to have the shot at my local pharmacy. But I'm now wondering whether perhaps I misunderstood. Is it perhaps not the cost of the actual shot that is not always covered, but the cost of having the actual "procedure" done at a doctor's surgery? If pharmacies charge a lot less, or nothing, for administering injections, does your doctor's surgery perhaps routinely send healthy people to pharmacies for the shot, to save their patients a little money?

Unfortunately, I have to confess that, unlike you, Scaredykat, I am financially illiterate and I didn't actually check with my insurance company. So I don't know exactly what their policy is.

Medical insurance issues are still something of a mystery to me and our out-of-pocket expenses seem to be so high anyway that I tend simply to give up and pay up. I really must make the effort to get to grips with it all....

[This message edited by Cally60 at 11:59 AM, May 28th (Wednesday)]

Lionne posted 5/28/2014 15:02 PM

I had a series of tests a few years ago that indicated I needed a booster for varicella and for rubella. I got the rubella with no problem.

I finally got the shingles shot, from the pharmacist today. It really hurt very little, just a bit of burning from the medication. However, it cost $245. I don't doubt that I will be reimbursed, not quickly, and I may have to make a few phone calls.

I can't imagine that all folks who need this, and I checked, it IS a recommended vaccine for people 60 and older, can afford to put out that money. Crazy.

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