Medicare and Diabetes

Diabetes officially called "Diabetes Mellitus" is actual not one disease but a group of diseases that affects how your body uses and processes blood sugar. Blood sugar, also known as glucose, is essential because it provides energy to all of the body's cells, organs and muscles. Glucose is also the main form of energy for your brain. People who have too much glucose in the blood have diabetes which is categorized into two types: Type 1 and Type 2. There is also Gestational diabetes that can occur during pregnancy. Type 2 diabetes is most common in older adults. The number one risk factor for Type 2 diabetes is being overweight.

Diabetes Coverage Under Medicare

Medicare coverage includes diabetes testing, prevention and therapy. Medicare also covers supplies and self-management training related to diabetes. Initially when a person enters the Medicare system they will be given a physical exam and that will establish whether they are diabetic or not and whether they are at risk for diabetes. Medicare also covers several different types of testing and special treatments related to diabetes. Medicare also covers anti-diabetic drugs and insulin if it is received using an insulin pump. Most Medicare coverage for diabetes is under Part B and Part D of Original Medicare. People who are not signed up for Part B and Part D, Prescription Drug coverage, either under Original Medicare or under an Advantage Plan will not receive coverage for most of the treatment related to diabetes.

An Overview of Diabetic Screening and Prevention

Diabetes is a manageable disease as long as it is diagnosed and properly treated. Left untreated, diabetes can contribute to blindness, liver disease, heart failure and even death. Medicare Part B covers up to two Fasting Blood Glucose Tests every year if you are at risk for diabetes. Medicare patients who have Part B will not pay anything but a small co-pay for these tests as long as they are administered by a Medicare-approved doctor.

If you come back diagnosed with diabetes or as being prediabetic then you will start a series of preventative measures to slow and possibly reverse the disease. Prediabetic people have elevated glucose levels but their body is still properly dealing with their glucose and their body's use of insulin is normal. Prevention for diabetes starts at home with proper diet and exercise at least three times a week. Often just correcting bad eating habits and regular exercise will help a person to lose enough weight to correct the condition and lower blood glucose levels. For people who have progressed farther in the disease adding anti-diabetic drugs can help correct glucose levels. Patients with severe onset diabetes may need to take insulin shots and learn how to administer them. In cases where the pancreas is no longer functioning an insulin pump may be needed.