Medicare Coverage for Diabetic Screening

Diabetes is almost an epidemic in this country. Luckily, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. With weight loss, healthy diet and exercise diabetes is largely preventable. Considering the wide range of horrible side effects related to diabetes including loss of vision, loss of circulation, amputation and even death it is important to look for the signs of diabetes and get tested if you are showing any sign of diabetes or are at high risk for developing the disease.

Health factors that put a Patient at High Risk for Diabetes:

  • Being Overweight
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels and high triglyceride levels
  • Having a family history of Diabetes
  • A history of gestational diabetes while pregnant
  • A history of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Family background is African American, Latino, Asian, Pacific islander or American Indian
  • Have tested positive for elevated glucose levels in the past

There are also several signs that may indicate you or prediabetic or diabetic. These can include:

  • Poor circulation, slowly healing sores, infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of Weight
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Constant thirst

The Fasting Glucose Test

If you are at risk for diabetes, Medicare will pay for you to have two Fasting Glucose Tests per year. Anyone with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a history of obesity or elevated glucose levels qualifies to have these tests covered under Original Medicare Part B. A Medicare-approved doctor must prescribe the tests. Medicare recipients, who are over the age of 65, overweight or have a family or personal history of diabetes may also have the tests covered. Speak with your doctor if you are unsure whether you qualify to have the tests or not. The cost of the tests is not deducted from your yearly Part B deductible.

The Fasting Glucose Test is a simple blood test. The patient is required to fast before the test for 12-14 hours. Then blood is drawn and sent to the lab. When the test comes back a normal reading will fall between 70-90 mg/dl. 100-126 mg/dl is considered prediabetic and 126 mg/dl or higher is considered diabetic.

Getting tested for diabetes is very important because prediabetics have a much greater chance of developing the disease in the future. The Fasting Glucose Test will determine if you are prediabetic. Prediabetics can institute a plan that includes diet and exercise that often prevents or delays the onset of the disease.