A glucose (blood sugar) monitor can be an essential tool in managing Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Depending on your diagnosis and treatment plan, your physician may recommend frequent monitoring throughout the day to make sure your sugar levels are within your target range. Glucose levels can fluctuate due to food or drink, physical activity, illness, stress, or even medications you take. Spikes in sugar levels can cause serious complications for diabetes patients, including organ damage, heart disease and kidney failure.

There are a variety of glucose monitors on the market that allow you to check your sugar levels at home, work, school, or while traveling. Most monitors come with lancets to prick your finger. Your blood is tested to determine your sugar level, based on milligrams per deciliter. According to the American Diabetes Association, the blood sugar level for someone with diabetes two hours after a meal should be less than 180 mg/dl, or between 80 and 130mg/dl after fasting.

Can Medicare Help Pay for Diabetes Supplies?

Yes, Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) will help cover the cost of durable medical equipment (DME), including supplies you need to manage your diabetes such as glucose monitors, lancets, lancet devices and test strips. If you have Original Medicare, you will likely pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for these supplies as long as your supplier is participating in Medicare and accepts assignment. The Part B deductible will apply. Some people with Original Medicare choose to purchase Medigap, or Medicare Supplement, insurance. Medigap policies will help cover the costs that Part A and Part B will not, including coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles.

Medicare recipients have the option to receive their benefits from either Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage (Part C). Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are sold by private insurance companies to provide Part A and Part B coverage. MA plans are required to include at least the same coverage as Original Medicare, but many offer additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage, dental and vision care, and even fitness club memberships. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, check with your plan to find out your exact costs for glucose monitors.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes in the last year and your needs have changed, review your current coverage. If your plan no longer meets your needs, you can compare your options and enroll in a different plan during Medicare’s Annual Election Period, from October 15 through December 7.

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