woman holding medicare card; medicare and diabetes

How Medicare Can Help with Diabetes

Are you living with diabetes and have health coverage through Medicare? Medicare covers many of the services and items you may need to manage your condition.

One quarter of people age 65 and older live with diabetes or prediabetes. The condition can be difficult to manage and come with many complications, like damage to the eyes, kidneys, and heart. If blood sugar levels are not kept within a safe range, the damage to nerves throughout the brain can leave parts of the body permanently damaged.

What does Medicare Part B cover?

Medicare Part B covers two diabetes screenings per year.

You should get a diabetes screening if you have:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels
  • Obesity

With Medicare, you are also covered for a one-time Welcome to Medicare Visit as well as an annual Wellness Visit. During this time, you should talk to your doctor about any preventative screenings you may need in order to get an idea of your overall health.

If your doctor prescribes it, Medicare Part B will also cover things like outpatient diabetes self-management courses to help you learn how to manage the disease. These courses will teach you the best medication, testing, and nutrition practices for diabetes management.

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What does Medicare Part D cover?

Medicare Part D covers medications, testing equipment, and supplies. This includes drugs you’ll need to manage your blood sugar levels like metformin or insulin not administered through 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 high blood sugar, and you have to intensively manage your insulin throughout the day.

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