Do you know
your insurance benefits? Are you paying out-of-pocket for your diabetes testing
supplies? No matter what type of insurance you have, you need to know your
benefits in order to reap the benefits.
A glucose meter,
test strips, and lancets are almost always covered by insurance when you have
diabetes. You do need a prescription from your doctor in order for them to be
covered. Some private insurance plans cover testing supplies under durable
medical equipment and not under pharmacy benefits. What this means is that if
you go to your local pharmacy, they may still charge you the entire cost for
the testing supplies. To use durable medical equipment benefits, you may need
to pick up your supplies at a different pharmacy or use a mail order program. Medicare
covers 80 percent of the cost of diabetes testing supplies. If you have a
secondary insurance policy, that one will likely pick up the additional 20
percent. If your testing supplies are not being covered, contact your insurance
Diabetes is a
self-managed disease so education is vital. Most private insurance plans,
Medicare, and state Medicaid provide coverage for education, also referred to
as diabetes self-management training. Depending on your insurance plan, there
may be a limit for how many hours or visits you can receive. For example,
Medicare allows for 10 hours of training, 9 of which must be spent in a group
class setting. These education sessions must be done at an American Diabetes Association
Recognized Education Program. Contact your insurance company to
learn about your coverage for diabetes education and then find a local diabetes educator.
There are also many
other services that may be covered by your insurance that can help to prevent
complications from diabetes. In addition to visits with your health care
provider, an annual eye exam and foot exam is also recommended. These exams are
both covered by Medicare. Medicare will even cover therapeutic shoes or insert
if deemed necessary.
Don’t miss out on
benefits that your insurance covers. Contact your insurance company to discuss
your benefits related to diabetes.