testing blood sugar - medicare diabetes benefitsUnderstanding your Medicare options can help you limit the cost of treating diabetes. Medicare offers options for a wide range of preventive care, testing, supplies, prescription drug coverage and more. Here’s what you need to know about your Medicare diabetes benefits. 

What Medicare Part A Covers 

While Part A primarily covers inpatient care such as hospital care and stays at nursing facilities, it also covers home health care. If you’re required to receive care for your diabetes at home, it may be approved under Part A. 

What Medicare Part B Covers 

Most of your Medicare diabetes benefits are paid for under Part B. Medicare Part B covers the following: 

  • Doctor visits 
  • Diagnostic testing 
  • Glucose meters and test strips 
  • Lancets 
  • Insulin pumps 
  • Medical nutrition therapy 
  • Diabetes self-management training 
  • Therapeutic devices 

The number of lancets and test strips you’re able to receive depends on whether you’re prescribed insulin. If you’re not taking insulin, you’ll receive 100 lancets and test strips every three months. Those who are prescribed insulin receive 300 test strips and lancets over the same time period. It’s important to note that Medicare Parts A and B don’t offer prescription drug coverage, but there are options available through Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans if you’re looking to have your medications covered. 

Medicare Advantage Plans  

Advantage plans are managed by insurance companies, so you have more options available when considering which plan you’d like to enroll in. A large portion of your premiums is also covered through your Medicare benefits. A Medicare Advantage plan must cover everything mentioned above that’s covered by Parts A and B, but you may enroll for additional coverage that can include the following: 

  • Prescription drug coverage 
  • Dental insurance 
  • Vision coverage 
  • Savings on gym memberships 
  • Special discount programs for therapy, medications and more 

Not every Advantage plan offers prescription drug coverage, so you may need to enroll in Medicare Part D if you’re not receiving this benefit. 

Prescription Drug Coverage 

While your diabetes devices and supplies are covered under Medicare Part B, if you require any prescription medications or insulin to help manage your diabetes, you can enroll in Part D to receive coverage for your prescription medications. You’re able to enroll in Part D whether you have an Advantage plan or not. You can choose how much coverage you desire and a plan tier that meets your needs. 

Your Costs for Your Medicare Diabetes Benefits 

The following things impact the cost of your premiums and coinsurance amounts through Medicare. 

  • Whether you paid into Social Security 
  • Enrolling on time during your initial enrollment period 
  • The Advantage Plan you selected 
  • What level of drug coverage you selected through Part D 

You’re required to meet an annual deductible and copayment for your medical care and diabetic supplies. Some people purchase a Medicare Supplement plan to help cover these out-of-pocket expenses. The out-of-pocket expenses a Medicare Supplement plan can cover include your deductibles, your coinsurance and the cost of your prescription medications.