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Medicare and Diabetes

When it comes to Medicare and diabetes, the most important coverage is under Part B and Part D. Medicare Part B covers services for people who have diabetes and some preventative services for those who are at risk for diabetes. Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug coverage) helps cover supplies for insulin.

What Does Medicare Cover?

Part B
  • Diabetes screenings (up to two a year)
  • Diabetes self-management training (DSMT) services for people who have just been diagnosed with diabetes or are at risk for diabetes
  • Home blood sugar (glucose) monitors as well as the supplies used with the monitors (blood sugar test strips, lancet devices, lancets)
  • Foot exam for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (every six months)
  • Glaucoma test once a year for people at high risk (includes those who have diabetes)
  • External durable insulin pumps
  • Part B may cover medical nutrition therapy (MNT) if you have diabetes or kidney disease
  • Therapeutic shoes or inserts for people who have severe diabetic foot disease
  • One-time review of your health to help educate/counsel you on preventative screenings, shots, referrals and more
  • After 12 months of having Part B, you are eligible for yearly “Wellness” visits
Part D
  • Prescription drugs for maintaining blood sugar (glucose)
  • Supplies to administer insulin (needles, syringes, gauze, etc.)
  • Insulin that is not administered with a pump

How Do You Lower Your Risk of Diabetes?

  1. Healthy Eating: Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, poultry and fish. Avoid processed foods when possible.
  2. Physical Activity: Try biking, swimming, walking, running, dancing, weight-lifting, yoga, or other exercises. You may wish to check with your doctor about exercising safely. Silver Sneakers may help you find local fitness classes or resources.
  3. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight raises your risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke – losing just 10-15 pounds can make a difference.
  4. Quit Smoking: Smoking is bad for your entire body. It raises your bad cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as putting you at risk for a stroke or heart attack. Quitting can be hard, but it’s important for your health.
  5. Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure: Eat less sodium, maintain a healthy weight, avoid smoking, limit alcohol consumption, and talk with your healthcare provider about a treatment plan.

Medicare National Mail-Order Program for Diabetes Testing Supplies

Since 2013, individuals enrolled in Medicare Part B with diabetes have been able to receive mail-order supplies. The package comes with blood glucose test strips, lancets, lancet devices, batteries and more. If you do not want to use the mail-order program, you can pick up supplies at your local pharmacy.

To learn more about Medicare Part B, click here.
To learn more about Medicare Prescription (Part D) Plans, click here.