Taking Care of Your Health - It's National Diabetes Month

Taking Care of Your Health - It's National Diabetes Month

With more than 25 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes, and almost 7 million adults with pre-diabetic conditions, it is no surprise that public awareness of this disease is crucial for the health and well being of our neighbors, friends, and loved ones.1 Although the disease itself can be life-threatening, diabetes has also been found to be a contributing factor to heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, and neuropathy.2 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of individuals affected by diabetes is growing, but having important information, preventive screenings, and access to diabetic supplies and services can save lives.

Medicare beneficiaries can be at an additional risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. In 2010, more than 26% of United States Residents aged 65 and older had been diagnosed with diabetes.3 Medicare benefits include coverage for diabetes screenings if you are considered at risk due to high blood pressure (hypertension), a history of abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels (dyslipidemia), obesity, and/or a history of high blood sugar (glucose).4 If your physician deems the screenings medically necessary and accepts assignment, you will pay nothing for the screenings.

For individuals receiving Medicare benefits who are diagnosed with diabetes, there is coverage available to help cover the costs of your medical needs. Medicare Part B (also known as Medical Insurance) covers some diabetic supplies including, but not limited to, glucose test strips, blood sugar testing monitors, lancet devices and lancets, glucose control solutions, and therapeutic shoes or inserts. Diabetic services also covered by Part B include diabetes self-management training, yearly eye exam, foot exam, glaucoma tests, and nutrition therapy services.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

1 National Diabetes Month – November 2012; The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; November 2, 2012; www.cdc.gov

2 American Diabetes Association; Diabetes Basics; Diabetes Statistics; http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/

3 National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2011; www.cdc.gov

4 Diabetes screenings; www.medicare.gov/coverage/diabetes-screenings.html