Medicare Covers More Diabetic Needs Than You Think

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you know just how expensive this medical condition can be. You need to purchase supplies and medication frequently, and the costs keep increasing every year. Living with diabetes can make your healthcare costs are unmanageable, especially as you face complications and changes in your health.

And if you’re struggling to pay your sky-high medical costs, you aren’t alone. All diabetics face incredibly high costs, spending an average of $9,601 each year on medical expenses required for their diabetes. That’s only a small part of the cost, too, as the American Diabetes Association reports that diabetics spend a total of $16,752 annually to care for their health.

But Medicare may be able to help you. If you’re eligible for Medicare or are a current Medicare subscriber, you may not realize that your insurance covers a number of diabetes-related expenses. 

Here’s more information on what Medicare covers for diabetics.

Medicare Covers 80 Percent of the Cost of Blood Sugar Monitors

One of the expenses of diabetes is monitoring your blood sugar. This requires not just an actual blood sugar monitor, but also an entire set of accessories needed for testing. That means you can spend hundreds – or thousands – of dollars on items like infusion pumps, test strips, lancets, and tubing.

But Medicare actually covers the bulk of the cost of these necessities. Medicare Part B provides covers for blood sugar or glucose testing monitors and infusion pumps, as they’re considered durable medical equipment. If it’s deemed necessary for your health, Part B will also cover related supplies and accessories, including test strips, lancets, glucose sensors, tubing, and insulin.

Medicare will cover 80 percent of the cost of these items. That means you’ll only be responsible for 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount, once you’ve met your annual Part B deductible.

Medicare Also Covers 80 Percent of Your Insulin Costs

Another major expense for all diabetics is insulin. For most individuals living with diabetes, insulin is an everyday necessity – and it can be wildly expensive. A diabetic spends an average of $5,705 per year on insulin alone.

Fortunately, if you’re a Medicare subscriber, you may not have to break the bank to get the insulin you need. Some diabetics may get as much as 80 percent of the cost of insulin equipment and insulin covered under Part B. However, you’ll need to meet certain conditions to guarantee this coverage for your insulin and related items.

With this coverage, you may be able to pay just 20 percent of the cost of insulin, once you’ve met your yearly deductible.

Therapeutic Shoes and Foot Exams May Also Be Covered

In addition to your regular medication and medical equipment needs, living with diabetes can leave you with other expenses. Diabetes can lead to other conditions that affect the lower limbs, like diabetic peripheral neuropathy and diabetic foot disease. 

However, even diabetes-related issues and complications may be covered for Medicare subscribers. If you have diabetic peripheral neuropathy or loss of protective sensation, Medicare Part B will cover foot exams every six months. Therapeutic shoes or inserts are also covered for those with severe diabetic foot disease.

Check Your Medicare Coverage to See How You Can Save

If you’re struggling with the costs of caring for your medical needs, you aren’t alone. Many people who live with diabetes must pay for expensive equipment and medical exams or treatment. But if you’re a Medicare subscriber, you may not have to pay such high costs out of your own savings.

Medicare subscribers who are diagnosed with diabetes could get help covering these costs. You just need to check your Medicare coverage to see how much might be paid for by your insurance. Look at the specifics of your Medicare coverage to see if you meet the health requirements for equipment that’s needed for managing your diabetes.

Additionally, if you need more coverage or aren’t satisfied by your current plan, you can make changes to your Medicare plan to increase your coverage. Medicare subscribers are able to make adjustments and shop for new plans during certain times of the year, such as during the annual open enrollment period. And doing this can help you get the care you need without paying so much out of pocket.

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Jan 8, 2020