What does Medicare cover for diabetics?

Published by Medicare Made Clear®

What does Medicare cover for diabetics, for example blood testing supplies

If you have diabetes, you know it’s a day-to-day reality that needs to be attended to. It can feel like a full-time job, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Medicare covers various diabetes medications, supplies and services to help treat diabetes and keep your blood glucose in a healthy range.

  • Medicare Part B covers blood glucose testing and other supplies you may need, plus some medical and education services
  • Medicare Part D covers diabetes medications and supplies for injecting or inhaling insulin

Here’s a rundown of the diabetes supplies and services that Medicare covers. Some require a prescription or recommendation from your doctor. Coverage limits may include the amount of some supplies you can get or how often some services are covered.

Diabetes supplies and services covered by Medicare Part B

  • Blood glucose testing supplies and equipment (meters, test strips, lancets and control solutions)
  • Insulin pumps and insulin used with a pump
  • Diabetes self-management training
  • Medical nutrition therapy, including diet and lifestyle counseling
  • Hemoglobin A1C tests to monitor blood glucose control
  • Foot exams and treatment for diabetes-related nerve damage
  • Therapeutic shoes or inserts
  • Eye test for glaucoma

Diabetes supplies and services covered by Medicare Part D

  • Medications to manage blood glucose
  • Insulin taken by injection
  • Supplies for taking insulin by injection (syringes, needles, alcohol swabs and gauze)
  • Inhaled insulin

What does Medicare pay for diabetes supplies and services?

In general, Medicare pays 80% and you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for diabetes supplies and services covered by Part B after the yearly deductible is met. Your percentage share of the cost is called coinsurance.

You may pay a coinsurance amount or a copayment for items covered by Part D. What you pay depends on the terms of your specific Part D plan.

Some services, such as medical nutrition therapy and A1C tests, may be provided at no additional cost to you.

Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) cover diabetes supplies and services, too, and often additional services such as vision, dental and hearing care. The costs and items covered will depend on the specific plan you have.

When it comes to managing diabetes, be sure to review how your Medicare coverage may cover what you need. Also, your annual Medicare wellness visit is a great time to talk to your doctor and make sure you’re up to date with preventive care services that support your diabetes care.

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