Coming down with an outbreak of the shingles virus can be an extraordinarily unpleasant and even dangerous experience. The virus is the same one that causes chickenpox so if earlier in life you had the latter, the virus may lie dormant in your body for decades and then suddenly erupt. Thus many of us have had the shingles vaccine administered even though it is not 100% effective. We have learned from a number of retirees that there is considerable confusion about coverage for the cost of the shingles vaccine by McMaster retiree drug plans. Some retiree plans have this coverage, while others do not.
We have consulted with HR (thanks, Linda Piccolo) who provides the following advice about coverage.
“Did you know that you can find out whether a specified drug or vaccine is covered under your retiree drug plan by contacting Sun Life directly or by using your Sun Life app? All you need is your member ID [your former employee ID number] and the Drug Identification Number (‘DIN’). In some circumstances eligible drugs or vaccines may not be available for purchase through the pay direct drug card. If the vaccine is eligible under your retiree plan, Sun Life will reimburse the cost of the vaccine at the plan's coinsurance, however, the physician's administration fee will not be eligible.”
Please contact Sun Life Financial at 1-800-361-6212 to confirm drug or vaccine eligibility under your specific retiree benefits plan.