I’m Diabetic – How Are My Supplies Covered Under Medicare?

Diabetes is a serious health condition that affects millions of people in the United States. The causes of this disease are complex – but with proper diet and care, the condition can be managed by many. For those who are age 65 and over and enrolled in Medicare, there are certain diabetes related services and supplies that are covered under the Medicare program. This is good news for Medicare participants, as these items can be quite costly – especially on an ongoing basis.

Diabetic Supplies That Are Covered By Medicare

Medicare covers certain supplies that are used in the treatment of diabetes. These include:

  • Monitors for blood sugar testing
  • Blood sugar test strips
  • Lancets and lancet devices
  • Solutions used for controlling blood sugar
  • Therapeutic shoes (in certain cases)

With regard to insulin, Medicare will typically only cover this if it is deemed to be medically for use with an external insulin pump in order to administer the insulin. In this particular case, the Medicare enrollee would pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount. In addition, the Medicare Part B deductible will also apply.

It is important to note that if an individual carries a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, insulin may be covered under this plan. Here, insulin may be covered, along with various medical devices such as syringes that are used for injecting it. Certain oral diabetic medications may also be covered under a person’s Medicare Part D plan.

Taking Receipt of Medicare Covered Diabetic Supplies

If a Medicare enrollee opts to receive their covered diabetic supplies via mail, it is required that a national mail order program that is contracted with Medicare is used for this service. Doing so will typically result in a lower cost than purchasing supplies through a brick and mortar store.

As of 2013, Medicare has a national mail order program that is specific to diabetic testing supplies. Going through this program will not require an enrollee to change the supplies that they currently use.

Other Medicare Coverage for Those with Diabetes

In addition to diabetic supplies, Medicare also covers additional services that are related to this particular health condition. These include the following:

  • Diabetic Screenings – For Medicare enrollees whose doctors determine that they may be at risk for contracting diabetes, Medicare will cover diabetes screenings. An enrollee could be eligible for up to two diabetic screenings per year. If the individual’s health care provider accepts Medicare assignment, then the enrollee will likely pay nothing for these tests.
  • Diabetes Self Management Training – If a Medicare participant has been diagnosed with diabetes, Medicare will also cover a percentage of the charges for diabetic outpatient self-management training. This training helps with teaching the individual how to manage and cope with his or her condition by informing them of ways to eat healthier, stay active, monitor their blood sugar levels, take their proper medication, and reduce their overall risks.

In order to qualify for such coverage, however, the enrollee must have a written order from their doctor or other health care provider. Once qualified, the enrollee is required to pay for 20 percent of the Medicare approved amount of the training. In addition, the Medicare Part B deductible will also apply.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes and is enrolled in Medicare, it is important to understand what is – and what is not – covered in terms of the services and supplies that can help in better managing this health condition. By having access to the proper care and medication, diabetes can be kept under control.

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