Diabetes affects millions of Americans and it’s a leading cause of disability and death in the United States. The disease increases the risk of serious health problems like nerve damage, kidney failure, and heart disease. November is American Diabetes Month, the ideal time for you to find out if you’re at risk and learn about the services and diabetic supplies covered by Medicare.
Know the diabetes risk factors
You may be at high risk for diabetes if you’re obese, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a family history of diabetes. Many people with diabetes don’t know they have it. Fortunately, Medicare covers screening tests so you can find out if you do. If you’re at high risk for developing diabetes or you’re diagnosed with pre-diabetes, you may be eligible for up to 2 fasting blood glucose (blood sugar) tests each year. If your doctor accepts assignment, you pay nothing for these tests. Talk to your doctor to find out when you should get your free diabetes screening test.
Medicare covers many diabetic supplies and training
If you have diabetes, Medicare covers many of your supplies, including blood sugar test strips, blood sugar monitors, and glucose control solutions. In some cases, Medicare also covers therapeutic shoes if you have diabetic foot problems. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for these supplies.
Medicare also covers diabetes self-management training to help you manage your diabetes. The program may include tips for eating healthy, being active, monitoring blood sugar, taking drugs, and reducing diabetes risk factors. Talk to your doctor about how this training can help you stay healthy and avoid serious complications.
Get help with out-of-pocket costs for insulin
If you take insulin, you may be able to get Medicare drug coverage during Open Enrollment that offers savings on your insulin starting January 1, 2021, and pay as low as $35 for a month’s supply. Visit Medicare.gov/plan-compare to find a plan that offers this savings in your state.