There are four parts to Medicare for most people: Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D. Part A provides hospital coverage; that is, it helps pay for your costs as a patient for hospital stays. Part B is medical coverage that pays for doctor-related services. Part C is a blend of private insurance and government coverage. Part D is a program to help pay for prescription drugs. Your diabetes care probably is associated with services from your physician (including lab work, tests, etc.), and that falls under Medicare Part B.
In addition, your Part B coverage includes diabetic supplies like test strips, lancets and monitors. The amount of coverage can vary, depending on issues such as insulin usage, and where you live (in the case of insulin pumps).
Part B can also pay for some preventative services. These are different from the actual treatment your doctor orders. Examples of preventative services would be diagnostic screenings for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Professional nutrition therapy and diabetes self-management programs , might be covered by Part B as well.
The Cost of Medicare Part B
Coverage under this part of Medicare is optional. You must choose Part B and pay and pay a monthly premium. (In 2013 the monthly charge for most people was $104.90.) If you receive Social Security, the monthly premiums can be deducted by the government from your SS funds.
You can receive Medicare from the other parts without choosing Part B. Watch out, though, because if you DO NOT choose Part B when you join Medicare, and then decide later you would like Part B coverage, you might have to pay a penalty.
The Other Medicare coverage that is important for diabetics: Part D
Part D is help with prescription costs. As a diabetic, you probably take multiple prescription drugs every day. On this page, however, we are focusing on Medicare Part D.Web pages and sites to provide more information:
Why this website?
We are a family of senior adults, with all the health issues of the average older American. Medicare has been a factor in our lives, as it is for millions of people like us. This website exists to offer plain talk, simple introductions to the maze of details that make up the Medicare program.
We aren't experts- we'll leave that to the real experts-- for the more complicated rules and issues of Medicare. What you'll find here is a beginning point. A start in your Medicare journey.
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Diabetes screening, self-management training, and supplies are on pages 46 and 47.You should have received a copy of 'Medicare & You 2015' in the mail. If you don't have your copy, call 800-803-7174. Download a pdf version.
This video is from the US Government Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. If you've already been diagnosed with diabetes, Medicare covers the cost of many of your supplies and self-management training as well as diabetes screening. (Opens in a new tab.)
We can't go thumbs-up or thumbs-down on this, but it might be worthwhile to explore. There are special Medicare Advantage (Part C) policies that provide coverage for medical and prescription expenses for people with specialized health needs like diabetes. They are called Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan (SNP). Be careful, these policies can be complicated.
Here's a link to a news story in The Clarion Ledger of Jackson, MS: Medicare plan offers help for seniors with diabetes