HEALTH FEATURE ARCHIVE

Diabetes Supplies: What Medicare Covers

Diabetic Supplies Covered
1. Self-testing equipment and supplies:

Medicare Part B covered diabetes supplies: Coverage for glucose monitors, test strips, and lancets.

Who is covered: All people with Medicare who have diabetes (insulin users and non-users).

Medicare covers the same supplies for people with diabetes whether or not they use insulin. These include glucose testing monitors, blood glucose test strips, lancet devices and lancets, and glucose control solutions. There may be some limits on supplies or how often you get them. For more information about diabetic supplies, call your Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carrier.

How to get your diabetes equipment and supplies: To get your diabetes equipment and supplies under Medicare, you need a prescription from your doctor. The prescription should say:
  • You have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • How many test strips and lancets you need in a month.
  • What kind of meter you need. For example, if you need a special meter for vision problems, the doctor should say that and state the medical reason why you need a special meter.
  • Whether you use insulin or not.
  • How often you should test your blood sugar.
Points to remember:
  • Ask your doctor or health care provider if regular blood sugar testing is right for you.
  • You need a prescription from your doctor to get your diabetes equipment and supplies under Medicare.
  • Learn the correct way to use your blood sugar meter properly. Your pharmacist, doctor, diabetes educator, or another health care provider can help you.
  • Keep track of your blood sugar readings and share them with your doctor or health care provider at regular visits.
  • Do not accept shipments of diabetes equipment and supplies that you did not ask for.

2. Therapeutic shoes: Medicare also covers therapeutic shoes for people with diabetes.

Medicare coverage: Medicare covers depth-inlay shoes, custom-molded shoes and shoe inserts for people with diabetes who qualify under Medicare Part B.

How you qualify: Your doctor must certify that you:

  1. Have diabetes.
  2. Have one or more of the following conditions in one or both feet:
    • history of partial or complete foot amputation
    • history of previous foot ulcers
    • history of callus that could lead to ulcers
    • peripheral neuropathy with signs that you have problems with calluses
    • poor circulation
    • foot deformity
  3. Are being treated under a comprehensive diabetes care plan and need therapeutic shoes and/or inserts because of diabetes.

What you pay: In the Original Medicare Plan Medicare pays for 80% of the Medicare-approved amount. You pay 20% of the total payment amount. This amount can be higher if your doctor doesn't accept assignment, and you may have to pay the entire amount at the time of service. Medicare will then send you its share of the charge.

3. Referrals for more information (DMERC)

If you have questions about durable medical equipment, including diabetic supplies, call your Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carrier.


Diabetes Services

1. Diabetes self-management training

Medicare Part B covered preventive services: Diabetes self-management training.

What you pay: In the Original Medicare Plan, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount after the yearly Part B deductible.

2. Medical nutrition therapy services

Medicare coverage: Medical nutrition therapy services are covered for people with diabetes (or kidney disease) when referred by a doctor. These services can be given by a registered dietician or nutrition professional and include diet counseling and therapy services to help you manage your diabetes.

What you pay: In the Original Medicare Plan, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount after the yearly Part B deductible.

3. Flu and pneumococcal pneumonia shots (vaccinations)

Medicare Part B covered preventive services:

Flu Shot - Once a year in the fall or winter.
Pneumococcal Pneumonia Shot - One shot may be all you ever need. Ask your doctor.

Who is covered: All people with Medicare.

What you pay: In the Original Medicare Plan, you pay nothing for flu and pneumoccocal pneumonia shots if the health care provider accepts assignment.


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