Medicare Diabetic Supplies - Find Out What’s Covered

By: Meredith Miller
Published: Tuesday, October 09 2018
Last Updated: a month ago

Navigating through Medicare insurance coverage can be confusing. When you're dealing with diabetes, you need to know if your diabetic supplies are covered. You also want to know what kind of out-of-pocket costs you are responsible for. Let's take a look at Medicare Part B coverage for diabetics, and break it down a little.

What Are Medicare Diabetic Supplies?

Medicare diabetic supplies are medical items that diabetics use to keep their The following items are diabetic supplies covered by Medicare:

  • Blood sugar testing monitors
  • Blood sugar test strips
  • Control Solutions
  • Lancet devices
  • Lancets
  • Therapeutic shoes or inserts
  • Insulin pumps
  • Insulin for pumps

Does Medicare Cover Supplies For Diabetics?

If you have Medicare Part B and are diabetic, Medicare will cover approved supplies. It doesn't matter if you do or do not use insulin, you can get many of your diabetic supplies covered by Medicare. Whether you are or are not an insulin user Medicare Part B covers the same type of glucose testing supplies.

Is There A Limit To How Much Medicare Will Cover?

The amount of supplies that are covered for those who do, or do not, use insulin is different. If you use insulin, you can get up to 100 test strips and lancets each month. You can also get 1 lancet device every 6 months. If you do not use insulin, you can receive 100 test strips and lancets every 3 months.

You may still receive 1 lancet device every 6 months. Medicare can cover more test strips and lancets, but your doctor has to document why it is medically necessary.

Medicare Part B Diabetic Supplies Requirements

It is also important to know the requirements Medicare puts on obtaining your supplies. In order to get your testing equipment and supplies covered by Medicare, you must get a prescription from your Medicare-approved doctor. You may also need to order certain diabetic supplies from Medicare-approved suppliers.

Which Supplies Aren’t Covered?

Medicare diabetic supplies do not include insulin or supplies used to administer your insulin. This means syringes and needles are not covered by Medicare Part B. Your insulin pens, and alcohol swabs or gauze will not be covered either. Medicare Part B doesn't cover inhaled insulin devices or anti-diabetic drugs you may be taking to maintain your blood sugar.

How Much It Will Cost You Out-Of-Pocket

Other than your monthly premiums for Medicare Part B, what types of costs are you responsible for? Your annual Medicare Part B deductible is $183. Once you have met your deductible, Part B pays 80% of medically necessary Medicare diabetic supplies. You will typically pay 20% of the approved amount for diabetic supplies covered by Medicare and durable medical equipment.

There is supplemental coverage you can purchase, like Medicare Part D, that may cover insulin and medical supplies like syringes, gauze, and alcohol swabs. During enrollment, you should consider purchasing supplemental coverage to help with the cost of your medical expenses.

Is It Possible To Get Free Diabetic Supplies?

You may see advertisements for free diabetic supplies, take the time to really understand what you are agreeing to before ordering supplies from any company. There are programs that offer access to low-cost or free diabetic supplies if you meet certain criteria. Your doctor's office can also offer suggestions on how to obtain low-cost or free diabetic supplies. Although it may be time-consuming, doing a little research regarding your options can go a long way in keeping the costs of Medicare diabetic supplies reasonable.

As a diabetic, many of your needs are covered by Medicare Part B. However, when you are enrolling in Medicare coverage you need to take the time to understand your coverage. Consider all of the expenses you will be responsible for, like premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance. Weigh those costs and determine if you should purchase supplemental coverage.

When it comes to your health making educated decisions is the best policy. That includes making decisions about your insurance coverage. If you still need assistance, speak to your doctor about other programs that can assist you in getting your supplies at low cost or even for free.