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Medicare & Diabetes: 3 Things You NEED to Know


Diabetes is a lifelong disease that affects the way the body handles glucose, a type of sugar, in the blood.  There are about 27 million people in the United States with diabetes, approximately  25% of those are people aged 60 and over. Living with diabetes as you get older can pose some unique challenges, but with proper care it can be effectively managed. Those who struggle with not only their chronic illness but also with the rising cost of prescription drugs used to treat them know that it is very important to have good prescription drug coverage.  

For those who suffer from Diabetes and are aging into Medicare, you will be pleased to know that there are some expenses that Medicare Part B  and Part D cover in regards to treatment of this illness.  These items include:


 What Part B Covers

  • Blood sugar (Glucose) testing strips (up to 300)
  • Blood sugar testing monitors
  • Insulin **
  • Lancets devices and lancets (Up to 300)
  • Glucose control solutions
  • Therapeutic inserts or shoes

 ** For more details on exactly how Medicare Part B covers insulin, visit www.medicare.gov

Part B Diabetes Testing Services

  • Diabetes self management testing
  • Yearly eye exams
  • Foot Exams
  • Glaucoma testing
  • Nutrition therapy services


National Mail Order Program

There is also a National Mail Order Program for diabetes testing supplies.  This means that beneficiaries who would like their testing supplies delivered to their home must use a Medicare national mail order contracted supplier.  Beneficiaries also have the option of picking up their testing supplies from a local store or pharmacy that is enrolled in Medicare.  Mail order diabetic supplies included in the National Mail Order Programs are:

  • Blood glucose test strips
  • Yearly eye exams
  • Lancet and lancet devices
  • Batteries
  • Control solutions


Medicare Part D Coverage 

Medicare Part D is a program that is available to all Medicare beneficiaries. Under Part D beneficiaries choose a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) run by a private insurance company that has been approved by Medicare. Each Medicare drug plan has it’s own list of covered drugs called a formulary.  Many drug plans place medications in different tiers on their formularies.  Drugs in each tier have a different cost.  These Medicare drug plans can cover other drugs necessary to treat diabetes.  In addition to providing prescription drug coverage Part D plans may also cover the supplies necessary to inject insulin, including syringes and needles, alcohol swabs and gauze.  While you are looking to choose a Medicare Part D plan you will want to compare plans to make sure that the one you choose will cover all of your needs. 


We can help check to make sure all the prescription drugs you take (including your diabetes medication, insulin and insulin supplies) are included in your plan's formulary, and we can see what the plans limits are.  We can also make sure that your preferred pharmacies are included in the plan's network.  


  • Most Medicare Advantage plans offer prescription drug coverage, so most beneficiaries enrolled in an MA plan will get their drug coverage that way.
  • Medicare Part D coverage is optional.  However, if you chose to not sign up with a Part D plan when you first become eligible, and you do not have any other creditable drug coverage, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty if you decide to sign up in the future.  


Not sure what Medicare plan you need? Take this Quiz!

Download your Medicare Plan Questionnaire from Trusted Senior Specialists



Would you like more information on how Medicare can cover Diabetes treatments and medication? Give one of our licensed agents a call today:

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