Does Medicare Cover Diabetic Supplies

Recently it was reported that obesity was becoming the number one health problem in the USA.  With obesity comes the danger of diabetes.  If diabetes supplies, medicare, medicaidyou have been diagnosed as being diabetic, Medicare Part B covers diabetic supplies and services.  Do not use your Part D Medicare benefit for these supplies.

Medicare has contracted with various suppliers of diabetic supplies to help contain costs. What this means is that if you purchase your supplies from a supplier who is not contracted with Medicare you may have to pay more and in some instances Medicare might not pay for the supplies at all.  So it is important that you use a supplier that is contracted with Medicare.

Who is Covered

If you have Medicare, everyone is covered whether you are an insulin or non-insulin user.

How To Get Your Diabetes Equipment And Supplies

If you are recently diagnosed or have diabetes to get your supplies under Medicare you need a prescription from your doctor.  It is important the prescription have the following information:

  • You have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • How many test strips and lancets you need in a month.
  • What kind of meter you need. For example, if you need a special meter for vision problems, the doctor should say that and state the medical reason why you need a special meter.
  • Whether you use insulin or not.
  • How often you should test your blood sugar.

How To Find A Supplier

Anytime I need to find a supplier or even a doctor, I go to Medicare's website at  Everything you need to find is located here.  So if I were looking for a supplier for diabetic supplies in my area, I would select "Find Suppliers of Medical Equipment in Your Area" enter my zip code and up comes a screen of categories and you are able to select 5 different categories, and then just click on "view results." Today I decided to look for diabetic supplies and there are 10 suppliers in my area.

What About Medicare Advantage Plans

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan the plan generally has their own procedures for the purchase of diabetic supplies.  I decided to checkout a few of the Advantage plans to see what types of charges.  Fortunately, Humana has put their plans on-line so you can determine what type of costs you might have to pay.

Depending upon where you purchase the supplies, it can cost you $0 - $35.  What this means is if you purchase outside of their network, you are generally charged a higher co-payment.

Remember that an Advantage Plan must offer the same as what Medicare offers.  Some plans actually offer more coverage than Original Medicare.  If you are not sure what is covered you can always call the Advantage Plan's customer service department and find out what's covered and who their suppliers are before you purchase.

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--Mary Jane Stern

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