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Medicare and diabetes

How Medicare Can Help with Diabetes

If you are on Medicare, there is good news for you. Medicare covers many of the services you might need to manage your condition.

Among Americans 65 and older, 25% have diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes is a difficult condition to manage, and can come with many complications, including kidney problems, glaucoma, and stroke.

Firstly, Medicare covers screening tests to check if you have diabetes. If you have high blood pressure, impaired blood sugar tolerance, abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels, or you are obese, you should get screened for diabetes. Medicare covers two screenings a year. Under Medicare you are also covered for a yearly Wellness Visit and a Welcome to Medicare visit to make sure you have comprehensive health check-ups.

If you have diabetes, Medicare covers medications, testing equipment, and supplies. As a bonus, if your doctor prescribes it, Medicare covers training to help you learn how to best self-manage the disease. Also available under Medicare are nutrition therapy services to plan meals and manage your diet.

As far as what you will need to manage the disease, Medicare Part B covers:

  • Home blood sugar monitors and supplies
  • Foot exams and treatment
  • Glaucoma tests
  • Eternal insulin pumps and insulin
  • Therapeutic shoes/inserts

And Part D covers:

  • Drugs for maintaining blood sugar
  • Insulin that you don’t administer with a pump

As of January 2017, Medicare also covers continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), as long as they are defined as a therapeutic CGM, you have diabetes mellitus, and you have to intensively manage your insulin throughout the day.

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