What Brands of Diabetic Supplies Are Covered by Medicare?
Are you aging into Medicare with diabetes?
In this article, we’re answering lots of questions about Medicare coverage of different diabetic supplies and brands.
If you would like personalized help, we have a team of licensed insurance agents ready and willing to answer your questions and help you choose a plan that’s compatible with your life and health.
Are diabetes supplies covered by Medicare?
Medicare does cover diabetic supplies.
Under Medicare Part B, you can get coverage for:
- Blood sugar monitors
- Blood sugar test strips
- Lancet devices
- Glucose control solutions for beneficiaries with diabetes, whether or not they use insulin, but the amount covered varies
And under Medicare Part D, your optional prescription drug coverage, you have coverage for diabetic medications, such as:
- Sulfonylureas (like Glipizide, and Glyburide)
- Biguanides (like metformin)
- Thiazolidinediones, like Actos® (Pioglitazone)
- Meglitinides, which are a class of anti-diabetic drug including Starlix® (Nateglinide) and Prandin® (Repaglinide)
- Alpha glucosidase inhibitors (like Precose®)
- Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists (like Adlyxin® (lixisenatide), Byetta®, Bydureon® (exenatide), Ozempic® (semaglutide), Tanzeum® (albiglutide),Trulicity® (dulaglutide) and Victoza® (liraglutide)
- Sodium-Glucose Co-Transporter 2 Inhibitors (SGLT-2 inhibitors) like Farxiga® (dapagliflozin), Invokana® (canagliflozin), Jardiance® (empagliflozin)
Part D plans also cover some supplies, such as
- Alcohol swabs
- Inhaled insulin devices with or without included insulin
- Insulin pens with or without included insulin
- Insulin that isn’t administered with an insulin pump
- Injectable insulin not used with an insulin infusion pump and inhaled insulin
If you decide to choose a Medicare Advantage plan, your plan must give you at least the same coverage as Original Medicare, but your plan will have different rules and costs.
Please make sure you do a full plan comparison before enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan!
What diabetic supplies are covered by Medicare Part B?
Medicare Part B, or the medical coverage component of Original Medicare, helps cover a number of diabetic supplies, but you might also like to know that it helps cover preventive services and diabetic programs.
Nevertheless, here’s a quick list of supplies Medicare Part B covers:
- Home blood sugar (glucose) monitors
- Blood sugar test strips
- Lancet devices
- External durable insulin pumps and the insulin it uses
- Therapeutic shoes or inserts
Please note that some of these supplies have eligibility requirements.
What brand of glucose meter is covered by Medicare 2023?
Medicare covers glucose monitors under Medicare Part as durable medical equipment (DME).
This means the supplier must be enrolled in Medicare, and they have to meet strict standards to stay enrolled.
Before your doctor writes the prescription for your glucose monitor, ask the supplier if they participate in Medicare.
To find glucose meter brands that are covered by Medicare, you can use a search tool provided by Medicare. You can enter your zip code and the equipment you need (blood glucose monitor) and see a list of results.
A few examples of brands that are covered by Medicare include the FreeStyle Libre 2 system, the FreeStyle Libre 14 day system, OneTouch® testing supplies, and Dexcom G7.
How many test strips does Medicare cover per month?
Medicare Part B covers up to 300 test strips every 3 months if you use insulin. If you don’t use insulin, you can get up to 100 test strips every 3 months.
However, if your doctor says it’s medically necessary, Medicare will allow you to get more test strips. You might have to keep a record of how often you test yourself, though.
Which continuous glucose monitors are covered by Medicare?
On April 16, 2023, Medicare expanded its coverage of continuous glucose monitors, an update that will impact around 2 million people.
Some of the most popular continuous glucose monitor brands covered by Medicare include the FreeStyle Libre 2 system, the FreeStyle Libre 14 day system, Dexcom G6, and Dexcom G7.
How often does Medicare allow an A1c test?
Medicare says they will cover a hemoglobin A1c test if your doctor orders it. There are no published limits as to how often you can get this test.
Keep in mind, though, that this test measures how well your blood sugar has been controlled over the past 3 months. So you would not need this test more often than every 3 months.
What do diabetics get free on Medicare?
Most diabetic supplies and services have cost sharing when you’re on Medicare. You’ll either have a copay or coinsurance for almost everything. However, there are a few things diabetics get for free when enrolled in Medicare.
Diabetics on Medicare can get, for free, the following:
- Diabetic screening tests
- One health behavior change program to help you prevent diabetes (you have to meet eligibility criteria)
- Flu and pneumococcal shot
- Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services
- Welcome to Medicare preventative visit (a one-time review of your health within the first year of having Medicare Part B)
- Yearly Wellness visit (yearly visit with your doctor)
Are glucose testing supplies covered under Medicare Part B?
Yes, glucose testing supplies, such as blood sugar monitors, test strips, and lancet devices are covered under Medicare Part B as durable medical equipment. You will have to pay 20% coinsurance after the yearly Part B deductible. If you have a Medicare Supplement, these costs will likely be picked up and your out-of-pocket cost will be nothing or only the Part B deductible.
Medicare covers many tests, supplies, services, and prevention programs for diabetics. You can get a lot more detail about this in this Medicare guide.
Our recommendation would be to stay enrolled in Original Medicare and add a Part D prescription drug plan as well as a Medicare Supplement. This will keep your out-of-pocket costs low and predictable.
For a no obligation quote, please reach out to us and schedule an appointment today!
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