Millions of Americans have or are at risk for diabetes. November is American Diabetes Month, an ideal time for you to find out if you’re at risk and learn about the self-management training and supplies Medicare covers if you do have diabetes.
Many people with diabetes don’t know that they have it—fortunately, Medicare covers screening tests so you can find out if you do. If you’re at high risk for developing diabetes, Medicare covers up to 2 fasting blood glucose (blood sugar) tests each year. If your doctor accepts assignment, you pay nothing for these tests. You may be at high risk for diabetes if you’re obese, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a family history of diabetes. Talk to your doctor to find out when you should get your free screening test.
If you have diabetes, Medicare covers many of your supplies, including test strips, monitors, and control solutions. In some cases, Medicare also covers therapeutic shoes if you have diabetic foot problems. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for these supplies.
Medicare also covers diabetes self-management training to help you learn how to better manage your diabetes. You can learn how to monitor your blood sugar, control your diet, exercise, and manage your prescriptions. Talk to your doctor about how this training can help you stay healthy and avoid serious complications.
Medicare also offers the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program to some people with Medicare who live in underserved and rural communities. This program offers weekly group sessions (typically lasting 6 to 10 weeks) that help people effectively self-manage their diabetes by learning about topics like nutrition, exercise, self-monitoring, diabetes medications and community resources and support. If you’re eligible, you pay nothing to participate in the program. To find out if you’re eligible or if there’s an available class near you, contact the Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) in your state.
You can learn more about American Diabetes Month and how to prevent and treat this disease from the American Diabetes Association at diabetes.org.
Take control of your health—talk to your doctor today about screening tests and what supplies and training you may need for your health.