Vaccines are believed to have first been discovered in the late 1700s. Since then, inoculating people against various diseases has become standard practice with many people receiving vaccine administration as infants. Among the most common vaccines given today is the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, although this vaccine combo didn’t become popular until the 1970s. Prior to that time, individual vaccines for each of these conditions were available, but the MMR vaccine wasn’t widely accessible until 1971.
If you’re eligible for Medicare, take advantage of your annual Wellness Visits to review your preventive care plan. Go over vaccinations available to help keep you healthy and safe. If you have not received the MMR vaccine in the past, talk to your physician about your options.
Who needs the MMR vaccine?
Most children receive the MMR vaccine in two doses, but many seniors have not received it. This is because older Americans were already adults by the time the MMR vaccine was created. As a result, many seniors have not had any MMR vaccine or have received an insufficient dose.
If you have not gotten the MMR vaccine, you may opt to get the MMRV vaccine, which includes vaccination against measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox. Most people who are vaccinated once remain protected throughout their lifetime.
Does Medicare cover the MMR vaccine?
Original Medicare benefits provide coverage for some vaccinations as long as they are deemed medically necessary. Many vaccinations are covered by Medicare Part B, the outpatient benefit, as long as the inoculation takes place in a doctor’s office or clinical setting. Unfortunately, Part B does not cover the MMR vaccine.
If you have enrolled in Part D prescription drug coverage, you may be covered for the MMR vaccine. Most people enroll in Medicare Part D when they are first eligible for Medicare unless they have other creditable coverage. People who get Original Medicare will often enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP). An alternative to Original Medicare is Medicare Advantage. A Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan will include your Part A and Part B benefits, but most plans also include prescription drug coverage.
Part D plans are offered by private insurance companies. Each plan will have its own formulary, or list of covered drugs. Check your plan to find out if the MMR vaccine is included in your plan’s formulary.