Saturday’s New York Times included this article summarizing the 2023 and future changes to part D that are going to start making a difference for seniors on Traditional Medicare.
In our opinion the absolute best news for the majority of Medicare users is that vaccines are now FREE. No copay. We planned to get the shingles vaccine last year but were put off by the copay which was something like $175. (And you need 2 doses.) But no longer! We will be rocking up to our local pharmacy very soon for our first dose.
If you have ever had chickenpox, you’re at risk for shingles; and if you’re at risk for shingles, and haven’t had the Shingrix vaccine, consider getting it. Shingles itself can be variably annoying and painful but usually for a limited time. However, a not-infrequent complication of shingles called post-herpetic neuralgia (“neuralgia” = nerve pain) (PHN) is PAINFUL and can persist for months.
Our own dear Dad had shingles that affected one ear. It happened to be the ear that had the hearing aid, which was the only ear that worked (he was totally deaf in the other one). He got PHN following the acute shingles episode and for several weeks could not wear his hearing aid because it hurt too much. He lost a good deal of his ability to communicate during that time.
Now we can prevent the same thing happening to us, at no cost except our time. Well worth it.