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Diabetes Testing Supplies Covered by Medicare

written by: Lashan Clarke • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 4/28/2011

There are quite a number of Medicare covered diabetes testing supplies such as lancets, glucose monitors and testing strips. Anyone under a Medicare plan will have to review their plan to what exactly is covered.

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    Anyone who has been diagnosed with diabetes would have been told by their doctor that they need to start treatment for their glucose levels. Other than medication, this treatment will also involve obtaining diabetic supplies to monitor your glucose levels on a daily to weekly basis.

    This will cost money, but for those on Medicare, it is possible to have Medicare covered diabetes testing supplies made available to you. It is just a matter of having your doctor prescribe these supplies as necessary items. These supplies include:

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    • Glucose Test Strips – The glucose test strips are used to test for the presence of glucose in the blood and urine. After the finger is pricked, a test strip can be used to collected a drop of blood and then inserted into the glucose testing monitor to receive a reading. Test strips can also include those used to test the urine. A sample of mid-catch urine is tested for the presence of glucose. This is one way of monitoring kidney function and blood glucose levels.
    • Glucose Monitor – The glucose monitor is the electronic device that is used to test the level of glucose within the body. It is a small handheld device.
    • Lancets – The lancets are the sharp pointed instruments used to pierce the finger to obtain a drop of blood. The blood is placed on the test strip that is inserted into the glucose monitor. The blood glucose level within the body is then obtained.
    • External Insulin Pumps – The supplies to administer insulin can be covered under Medicare, but a doctor must write a prescription of an external insulin pump to do so. In some instances, other diabetic supplies such as insulin and oral medications may be available under the Medicare drug plan.
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    Medicare Coverage of Diabetic Supplies

    You will discover that it is possible for Medicare to cover some of the supplies you need to test your blood glucose levels. Therefore, when discussing supplies for diabetic testing, you will need to pay at least 20 percent for the amount approved by Medicare after the annual Medicare Original Part B deductible. Medicare might also be able to pay for your control devices that test the accuracy of your monitors or strips.

    According to the Medicare website, it is advised to only order your diabetic supplies from a store or supplier who is approved by Medicare. It is easy when ordering online to check for the Medicare-approved logo. However, when purchasing from a store, ask the sales clerk if the supplies are approved by Medicare before making your purchase.

    In some instances, it will be vital to research if your Medicare covered diabetes testing supplies are available under your current Medicare plan. For example, if you are under the Medicare Advantage Plan, you may discover that you do not have any expenses to pay.

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