Diabetes is a serious condition that affects over 30 million people in the United States alone. It can cause many health problems if not properly managed, ranging from short-term effects such as poor vision and foot complications to long-term issues such as heart and kidney disease. Quality medical care is essential for people with diabetes. For those enrolled in Medicare, the government health insurance program for people 65 and older, the coverage they receive for diabetes-related health services can greatly help. This article will explore some of Medicare’s most important services for people with diabetes.
1. Blood Sugar Monitoring
Blood sugar monitoring is a crucial part of diabetes management, as it allows people to closely track their glucose levels and ensure that they are in a safe range. With Medicare, people with diabetes can purchase up to 300 meters or test strips per year and they may qualify for free meters through the Pharmacy Savings Plus Program. Medicare also covers up to 100 lancets per year at no cost.
Furthermore, medical professionals’ blood sugar monitoring sessions, including visits to certified diabetes educators, are also covered. With Medicare coverage, people with diabetes can benefit from frequent and accurate blood sugar checks and know their test strips and lancets will be covered.
2. Diabetes Education And Counseling
Education and counseling are essential for people with diabetes as they provide vital tools for managing the condition. Medicare Part B covers medical nutrition therapy (MNT), which can include instruction from a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator to learn how to adjust one’s diet for better diabetes management. Medicare Part B also provides coverage for diabetes self-management training, which includes diabetes-related education, discussion on goal setting, and counseling for other health-related topics.
Additionally, one-on-one or group medical visits may also be covered. With these services, people living with diabetes can gain the skills necessary to manage their condition and stay healthy properly.
3. Medicare Advantage Plans And Diabetes
Medicare Advantage Plans are private insurance plans that offer alternative coverage to Original Medicare and often come with fewer restrictions and out-of-pocket costs. Medicare Advantage Plans may include additional services beyond Original Medicare, such as plan-specific prescription drug coverage, vision and hearing care, and supplemental dental coverage.
For people with diabetes, Medicare Advantage Plans may offer additional services such as diabetes education and private home health visits. Additionally, some plans waive the Part B deductible and coinsurance fees for diabetes-related services. Medicare Advantage Plans can significantly improve the scope and affordability of care for people with diabetes and allow them to access more services to manage their condition better.
4. Inpatient Care
Inpatient care is an important aspect of diabetes care, as people with the condition may require hospitalization due to complications from their diabetes. Medicare Part A covers the cost of inpatient hospital stays for those with diabetes and skilled nursing facility stays if you require some form of intensive care. Furthermore, Medicare Part A also covers other services necessary for treating diabetes, such as lab tests, additional medical equipment, and other necessary supplies.
Furthermore, if a beneficiary is hospitalized for any reason unrelated to diabetes, Medicare Part A can cover up to 80 percent of the cost of those services. However, it is important to note that beneficiaries must meet Medicare’s criteria for inpatient hospital admissions to be eligible for coverage.
5. Medical Supplies And Equipment
Medical supplies and equipment are important for people living with diabetes, as they allow patients to minimize the damage of the condition. Medicare Part B covers the cost of durable medical equipment (DME) necessary to prevent or manage a chronic condition, such as diabetes.
Medicare Part B also covers medically necessary oxygen supplies for those with diabetes. Beneficiaries may also be eligible for Medicare’s Mail-Order Diabetes Supplies program, in which those with diabetes can get up to 100 test strips or meters per year delivered directly to their home. Medicare may also cover the cost of some diabetes-related supplies, such as syringes, pen needles, and insulin pumps.
6. Mental Health Benefits
Mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health when it comes to diabetes, as people with diabetes may feel the psychological impacts of their diagnosis. This is why Medicare Part B covers mental health services such as visits to psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, and psychiatric nurses. These services can benefit those with diabetes, as they can provide important support and counseling to help beneficiaries cope with their diagnosis.
Diabetes is a serious chronic condition requiring quality medical care to prevent long-term complications. Medicare provides various services and coverage for those with diabetes, from blood sugar monitoring to diabetes counseling and medical supplies. These services can tremendously help those living with the condition, allowing them to manage their diabetes and lead healthier lives.