Your Medicare Coverage
Is my test, item, or service covered?
Blood sugar (glucose) test strips
How often is it covered?
All people with Medicare who have diabetes are covered.
Your costs in Original Medicare
You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount. Medicare pays for different kinds of DME in different ways: some equipment may be rented, other equipment may be purchased, and you may choose to rent or buy some equipment.
Medicare will only cover your DME if your doctor or supplier is enrolled in Medicare. If a DME supplier doesn't accept assignment, Medicare doesn't limit how much the supplier can charge you. You may also have to pay the entire bill (your share and Medicare's share) at the time you get the DME.
Competitive Bidding Program
If you live in or visit certain areas, you may be affected by Medicare's Competitive Bidding Program. In most cases, if you have Original Medicare and get competitively bid equipment and supplies in competitive bidding areas, Medicare will only help pay for these equipment and supplies if they're provided by contract suppliers. Contract suppliers can't charge you more than the 20% coinsurance and any unmet yearly deductible for any equipment or supplies included in the Competitive Bidding Program.
As of July 2013, Medicare has a National Mail-Order Program for diabetic testing supplies. No matter where you live, you’ll need to use a Medicare national mail-order contract supplier for Medicare to pay for diabetic testing supplies that are delivered to your home. If you don’t want diabetic testing supplies delivered to your home, you can go to any local store (local pharmacy or storefront supplier) that’s enrolled with Medicare and buy them there. The National Mail-Order Program doesn't require you to change your testing monitor. If you're happy with your current monitor, look for a mail-order contract supplier or local store that can provide the supplies you need.