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What Does Medicare Cover for Diabetics?

Diabetes affects millions of people in the United States. While diabetes can be challenging to treat, with proper care, you can lead an active and healthy life. Medicare offers many benefits to help you treat the symptoms and lower your costs.

What Services are Available Under Medicare Diabetes Coverage?

Medicare Part B covers a wide range of services and supplies to help you manage your diabetes.  These services are designed to help reduce the impact the disease can have, and assist you in living a healthier life. You can speak with your doctor to determine what you’re eligible for, and to learn about treatments that may help you. Some of the Medicare-covered benefits for people with diabetes include:

  • Self-management training
  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Foot exams
  • Some insulin pumps, and the insulin for them
  • Blood sugar testing supplies

If you have diabetes, you can also get yearly eye exams and glaucoma tests paid for by Medicare, even though these tests aren’t usually covered. Diabetes can cause eye complications, so these exams are considered medically necessary. If you’d like to get your eyes examined, be sure to get the tests ordered from your doctor first so that Medicare will pay for them.

How Much Does Medicare Pay for Diabetes Services?

Medicare coverage can make treating your diabetes more affordable, but it doesn’t pay your costs in full. Usually, Medicare only covers up to 80% of your bill, after deductibles and copays. To avoid the risk of an uncapped 20% coinsurance and other out-of-pocket costs, many people choose one of two options:

  • Medicare Supplement Plans: Medicare Supplement plans can help you save money by paying for the rest of a treatment, service, or item that Medicare only pays a portion for. They come in a range of coverage levels, and you can use them anywhere that you use Medicare. With Plan F, for instance, you wouldn’t need to pay out-of-pocket for any services or items that Medicare covers.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans: Medicare Advantage plans are a form of private insurance, and they are primary instead of Medicare. They typically have lower costs than just Medicare alone. If you have an Advantage plan, you’ll need to refer to your policy for information on networks, services, and fees.

How Can I Save Money on My Diabetes Medication?

Medication prices are a concern for people across the United States, and especially for those with diabetes. There are several ways that you can try to bring down your medication expenses.

  • Part D Drug Plans: Part D Prescription Drug plans will help pay some of the costs of your medication. You should shop your plan every year during the Annual Enrollment Period, because the plans can change their coverage details. The plan that’s the best for you this year might not be the best next year.
  • Medication Management Therapy: Medication Management Therapy is designed to ensure that you’re only on the medications that you need, that they’re all working properly, and that you’re not spending more than you need to.
  • Search for Rebates: Some manufacturers offer rebates or discounts on their products. You can find them by searching the name of your medication, followed by “rebate.”
  • Speak with Your Doctor: If you’re having issues affording your medications, your doctor may be able to help. For instance, they may have samples they can give you, or they may be able to prescribe you a higher dosage on pills that can be split in half. This would allow you to save money because you wouldn’t need to refill your prescription as often.

Treating diabetes can be difficult and expensive, so Medicare offers a variety of services to help. If you have diabetes, you should speak with your doctor to see what services are available to you.

Nothing on this website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.

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