Medicare Coverage for Diabetes under Parts A Hospital and B Doctor Visits
What Medicare Covers
Medicare covers these screenings if your doctor determines you’re at risk for diabetes or diagnosed with prediabetes. You may be eligible for up to 2 diabetes screenings each year. You pay nothing for the test if your doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment.
Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program
Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, type 2 diabetes can sometimes be delayed or prevented with health behavior changes. If you have prediabetes, losing even a small amount of weight if you’re overweight and getting regular exercise can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
If you have Medicare Part B, have prediabetes, and meet other criteria, Medicare covers a proven health behavior change program to help you prevent diabetes. The program begins with at least 16 core sessions offered in a group setting over a 6-month period. After the core sessions, you may be eligible for additional monthly sessions will help you maintain healthy habits.
The diabetes prevention program sessions will include:
• Training to make realistic, lasting lifestyle changes
• Tips on how to get more exercise
• Strategies for controlling your weight
• A lifestyle coach, specially trained to help keep you motivated
• Support from people with similar goals and challenges
If you think you’re at risk, ask your doctor to be tested for prediabetes to find out if you have the condition. If you qualify for the program, you can join a program at no out-of-pocket cost without a referral from your doctor. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, contact your plan for more information.
Diabetes self-management training
Medicare covers diabetes outpatient self-management training to teach you to cope with and manage your diabetes. The program may include tips for eating healthy, being active, monitoring blood sugar, taking medication, and reducing risks. You must have diabetes and a written order from your doctor or other qualified health care provider who’s treating your diabetes. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies.
Medicare covers blood sugar testing monitors, blood sugar test strips, lancet devices and lancets, blood sugar control solutions, and therapeutic shoes (in some cases). Medicare only covers insulin if it’s medically necessary and you use an external insulin pump to administer the insulin. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies.
Note: Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) may cover insulin, certain medical supplies used to inject insulin (like syringes), and some oral diabetes drugs. Check with your plan for more information. Medicare & You #10050
Ways to Manage Type 2 Diabetes
Sharp HealthCare offers a diabetes education program in locations across San Diego County to help those with Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes with managing their care. If you know of any other aids, educational material, whatever, please post in the comments section below.
Medicare Coverage for Diabetes Publication # 11022
Clinical Guidelines – Medical Necessity
Medical nutrition therapy services
Foot exams & treatment
Hemoglobin A1c tests
Flu and pneumococcal shots (vaccinations)
“Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit
Yearly “Wellness” visit
Supplies & services that aren’t covered by Medicare
Historical testing for diabetes
Food and diet can help a lot
Diabetes prevention program
Related Pages in Diabetes Special Needs Plans – SNP Section
- Caremore Medicare Advantage – Special Needs Plan for ESRD Kidney Failure –
Participating Part D plans (shop & compare here or email us) can offer coverage of insulin for a flat monthly copayment of no more than $35, in contrast to varying cost-sharing amounts during different phases of the Part D benefit
The new insulin model directly addresses this disincentive by doing two things:
1) allowing manufacturers to continue paying their full coverage gap discount for their products, even when a plan offers lower cost-sharing; and
2) requiring participating Part D sponsors’ plans, in part through applying manufacturer rebates, to lowering cost-sharing to no more than $35 for a month’s supply for a broad set of insulins.
Under President Trump’s leadership, for the first time, CMS is enabling and encouraging Part D plans to offer fixed, predictable copays for beneficiaries rather than leaving seniors paying 25 percent of the drug’s cost in the coverage gap. Both manufacturers and Part D sponsors responded to this market-based solution in force and seniors that use insulin will reap the benefits. KFF.org *