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Does Medicare Cover Continuous Glucose Monitors For Diabetes

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  • Does Medicare cover continuous glucose monitors? Learn who’s eligible for monitors through Medicare, what additional supplies are covered and other ways to get a monitor.

In 2018, an estimated 13% of U.S. adults had diabetes. Among people aged 65 and over, that number rose to 26.8%. As older adults make up the bulk of the 63.3 million people enrolled in Medicare, its no surprise that the government is looking for better ways to help beneficiaries manage the condition.

Continuous glucose monitors use sensors under your skin to monitor blood glucose levels 24 hours a day. This information is sent to a wearable device or smartphone, giving users the ability to easily track blood sugar levels and determine dosing needs. These devices have resulted in better glycemic control, so theyre increasingly being recommended to people with diabetes. Find out if and how Medicare covers continuous glucose monitors.

How To Save Money On Blood Glucose Test Strips

eligible even if you dont have health insurance. Most providers let you sign up for an account at the … a subscription plan offered by Accu-Chek if you are enrolled in or have medical or prescription coverage through … know that medical costs for people with diabetes are more than twice as high as for people without …

Does Medicare Cover The Cost Of Diabetic Test Strips

Medicare Part B covers blood sugar test strips and some other diabetic supplies such as blood glucose self-testing equipment and supplies, therapeutic shoes and inserts, and insulin pumps and the insulin for the pumps. These items are covered for people with diabetes whether or not they take insulin.

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Does Medicare Cover Continuous Glucose Monitors

Original Medicare covers continuous glucose monitors through Part B of Medicare. In most cases, Medicare covers the monthly supplies for a monitor, which is a combination of sensors, transmitters and batteries depending on the brand. Although devices are covered, beneficiaries may have to pay copays or deductibles.

As Medicare Advantage must provide the same level of coverage as Original Medicare, these devices are also available to people on Medicare Advantage Plans. However, individual Medicare Advantage Plans may have different rules around costs, brands and the choice of where you can get services.

In the past, continuous glucose monitors were considered precautionary instead of medically necessary, which limited the number of people who could gain access to the technology. However, rules changed in 2021, allowing more enrollees to benefit from the devices.

Medicare Eligibility For A Therapeutic Cgm


A therapeutic CGM is a medical device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a replacement for home blood sugar monitors. It provides you and your doctor with the medically necessary information to make diabetes treatment decisions, such as changes in diet and your insulin dosage.

To qualify for a therapeutic CGM, you must be undergoing treatment for diabetes and meet certain other criteria.

To be eligible for a therapeutic CGM under Medicare, you must meet the following requirements.

  • You are using insulin to treat Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.
  • You need to check your blood sugar four or more times per day.
  • You must use an insulin pump or receive three or more insulin injections per day.
  • You must make routine, in-person visits to your doctor.
  • Your doctor has determined that you meet all Medicare eligibility requirements.

The decision between a therapeutic CGM or a traditional monitor is one you should make after talking to your doctor. A therapeutic CGM may be a better option if you use insulin and frequently change your dosage.

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Who Qualifies For Continuous Glucose Monitors Through Medicare

Continuous glucose monitors are only available to people who regularly take insulin. This includes those with Type 1 diabetes and some people with Type 2 diabetes. In particular, the monitors are intended to help those who have to frequently adjust their insulin dosage or regimen.

Monitors are currently not available to people who use minimal insulin, such as those who have background basal injections. It’s also not available to people who are using non-insulin medication to control their condition. Your doctor can determine if you meet the Medicare requirements.

What Diabetic Test Strips Are Covered By Tricare

TRICARE covers the following OTC supplies:

  • Insulin products.
  • Blood and urine ketone/acetone test strips.
  • Syringes and needles used for injectable medications.

. Moreover, does the VA cover diabetic supplies?

Manars diabetes care is covered 100% as a service-related disability. Starting in 2001, the VA listed diabetes as a presumptive condition for in-country Vietnam vets. But even for vets not exposed to Agent Orange, diabetes treatment is still a covered benefit as part of overall healthcare.

Secondly, does Tricare cover diabetes education? This outpatient program educates beneficiaries on the self-management of diabetes. The DSMT program must be TRICARE-authorized and accredited by the American Diabetes Association or accredited and approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide DSMT services.

Regarding this, what diabetic supplies are covered by Medicare?

Original Medicare Part B covers some diabetic supplies, including:

  • Blood sugar test strips.
  • Blood glucose monitors, lancet devices, and lancets.
  • Glucose control solutions for checking the accuracy of test strips and monitors.
  • Insulin if you are using a medically necessary insulin pump

Does Va cover dexcom?

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How To Get Diabetes Supplies Through Medicare Part B

To get your diabetes supplies under Medicare Part B, you need a prescription from your doctor. The prescription should state:

  • That you have been diagnosed with diabetes
  • What kind of blood glucose monitor and test strips you need and why
  • How often you should test your blood sugar each day
  • Whether you use insulin
  • How many test strips and lancets you need a month
  • Note: For quality products, ask your doctor to prescribe an Accu-Chek® Guide Me blood glucose monitor and Accu-Chek Guide test strips. They can even include the phrase “Do Not Substitute” to make sure you get the brand you want.
  • Simply hand one of the Medicare cards shown here and your prescription to your pharmacist when you go to the pharmacy.

    How Do Glucose Test Strips Work

    ACCU-CHEK inform II

    If you have diabetes, its probably a very familiar drill: You stick the test strip into the meters slot, prick a finger with the lancet, draw out a drop of blood, and transfer the blood to the edge of the test strip.

    What happens next is pretty ingenious, even though at first glance the technology might seem old-fashioned when compared to insulin pumps, CGMs, or other new technologies for diabetes care.

    The chemicals in the strip react with glucose to create an electric current, and electrons travel to the meter. The meter then determines how much glucose was required to generate that much electricity and bingo, your blood glucose number flashes on the screen.

    Actually, the science behind test strips is quite complicated. They are made up of at least five different layers, including a super-thin layer of gold that helps conduct the current. Click here to see an illustration.

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    How Accurate Are Glucose Test Strips

    This has been a controversial issue over the years because some brands of meters and strips have been shown to be more accurate than others. Theres also concern about the accuracy of models that have been out on the market for many years, so have not been tested for accuracy since their original approval by the FDA.

    The California-based nonprofit Diabetes Technology Society recently tested 18 popular blood glucose meters and compared their results to those of outside laboratories that tested the same blood specimens.

    The DTS gold standard is that a meter and its test strips should yield BG readings within 15 percent or 15 mg/dL of the laboratory values at least 95 percent of the time. In several studies, only six brands passed that test for accuracy:

    • Contour Next from Bayer 100 percent
    • Accu-Chek Aviva Plus from Roche 98 percent
    • Walmart ReliOn Confirm from Arkray 97 percent
    • CVS/pharmacy Advanced from Agamatrix 97 percent
    • FreeStyle Lite from Abbott 96 percent
    • Accu-Chek SmartView from Roche 95 percent

    So, theres a whole bunch of test strips and meters out there that are less accurate than they should be. The least accurate were:

    • Solus V2 from BioSense Medical 76 percent
    • Advocate Redi-Code+ from Diabetic Supply of Suncoast 76 percent
    • Gmate Smart from Philosys 71 percent

    Still, the accuracy of results, along with ease of use and price of both the meter and strips, should factor into your decision when choosing a glucose meter, according to experts in the DTS

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    1 $49.99 is the combined price when prescriptions are filled for Accu-Chek Guide Me meter, 100 -ct Accu-Chek Guide test strips or 50-ct Accu-Chek Guide test strips, and 102-ct FastClix lancets or 100-ct Softclix lancets. Dispensing an Accu-Chek Guide Meter or different quantities of Accu-Chek Guide test strips or FastClix Lancets or Softclix Lancets will cause a variance in the combined price.

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    Medicare Covers Most Diabetic Testing Supplies As Durable Medical Equipment Or Dme

    Nearly $300 billion is spent every year on medical costs associated with diabetes. The good news is if you have Original Medicare, some diabetic supplies are covered by Medicare Part B , including blood sugar testing strips, blood sugar monitors, lancet devices and lancets, and other durable medical equipment .

    If youre living with diabetes or are pre-diabetic, its important to understand Medicare coverage for diabetic supplies, especially what is and isnt covered and at what cost, to help ensure you get what you need to stay healthy.

    Medicare Part B Covered Diabetes Testing Supplies


    Part B covers a number of blood sugar self-testing supplies and equipment, even if you dont use insulin. These include:

    • Blood sugar monitors
    • Lancet devices and lancets
    • Glucose control solutions

    These supplies are considered durable medical equipment, and the actual amount of supplies that are covered varies depending on whether or not you use insulin. For example, if you use insulin, you may be able to get up to 300 test strips and 300 lancets every three months, but if you dont use insulin you may only be able to get up to 100.

    If your doctor says its medically necessary, Medicare will cover additional test strips and lancets.

    Test strips can be used to help monitor certain substances in the blood. They are small, single-use pieces of paper-like substance that you place one or two drops of blood on, and insert into a testing device. These devices provide results within seconds, and you can address any concerns regarding blood glucose levels.

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    Is It Legal To Resell Diabetic Test Strips

    Theres no law against buying and selling diabetes test strips on the open market. As a result, a growing gray market has emerged, where companies buy strips from PWDs and other sources and resell them. Go online and youll find more than a few outfits doing this, with names like,, and

    Weve checked into the deals available at some of these companies and are skeptical. As explained in our earlier article on Saving Money on Diabetes Medications and Supplies, the savings here dont appear to be that great, and given the fact that the quality control in these outfits is uncertain, we urge caution. Some sellers may try to peddle expired goods, for example.

    Partly in response to this gray market, the state of California for one has begun to regulate the supply chain of diabetes products, including glucose test strips, to prevent fraud and ensure patient safety.

    The FDA issued to consumers about the safety of pre-owned or unauthorized test strips in April 2019, although the agency noted that it was not aware of any deaths or serious injuries from these strips.

    In other words, buyer beware.

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    • Be a Medicare Part B/Medicaid FFS provider who accepts assignment on Accu-Chek products
    • No minimum purchase requirements
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    • The terms and conditions for the Medicare Part B/Medicaid FFS Strip Rebate Program are included in the Contracts.
    • Only valid in the U.S.

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    How to Participate in the Medicare Part B and/or Medicaid FFS Rebate Program

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    • Accept the terms of the Roche Medicare Part B/Medicaid FFS Rebate Agreement, requiring you to:
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    How Many Diabetic Test Strips Will Medicare Pay For

    Medicare will pay for up to 300 test strips and 300 lancets every month when you use insulin to manage your diabetes. If you dont use insulin to control your diabetes, you may still be able to qualify for 100 test strips per month.

    If you test your blood sugar more frequently, you may be able to get more test strips. Your doctor will have to write a prescription stating that receiving more test strips is medically necessary. Your doctor may ask you to keep a log of how often you test your blood sugar levels to further support that you need more than the allotted amount of test strips.

    What extra benefits and savings do you qualify for?

    How Do I Get My Medicare Diabetes Supplies

    Accu Chek Mobile – How to do a blood glucose check

    You can order and pick up supplies from your pharmacy, or you can order them from a DME supplier.

    If you order from a supplier, you must place the order yourself, meaning a doctor cannot call it in for you. However, you will still need a prescription from your doctor to place the order.

    When you go to the pharmacy or supplier, show your red, white and blue Medicare card and your prescription.

    You can also order supplies through the Medicare National Mail-Order Program, including test strips, lancets and lancet devices. If you want your supplies mailed to your home, you must use a Medicare national mail-order contract supplier. You can visit or call Medicare for a list of contracted suppliers.

    You need a new prescription from your doctor for lancets and test strips every 12 months, so dont forget to ask for refills for your supplies every year.

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    Medicare Covers Some Other Diabetes Supplies And Treatments

    Medicare Part B also helps cover the costs of some other diabetes treatment-related services, which can include:

    • Lancets and lancet devices

    • Blood sugar monitoring and control devices

    • Therapeutic shoes or shoe inserts

    Its important to note that in order for Medicare to cover some diabetes testing supplies, you may need to go through specific durable medical equipment suppliers who are enrolled in Medicare.

    Additionally, Medicare Part B covers some diabetes services. These can include:

    • Annual eye exams

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    Does Medicare Cover Diabetes

    In addition to the diabetes services and supplies covered by Medicare Part B , others are covered by Part D .

    Typically, Medicare Part B covers the services that may be needed by people who have diabetes, as well as preventive services for people who may be at risk or are pre-diabetic, including:

    • Diabetes screenings
    • Medical Nutrition Therapy services
    • Foot exams and treatment
    • Welcome to Medicare preventive visit
    • Annual wellness visit
    • Therapeutic shoes or inserts

    Medicare Part D covers a number of medical supplies you may need to help treat or control your diabetes. Coinsurance or copayments may apply to these supplies, as well as a Part D deductible. Covered supplies may include:

    • Diabetes supplies such as syringes, needles, alcohol swabs, gauze, and inhaled insulin devices

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    What Brands Are Covered

    Most brands currently on the market are covered through Medicare. This includes Medtronic, Dexcom, Eversense and Freestyle Libre 1 and 2. In the past, Medicare only covered non-adjunctive monitors, which dont require a finger stick glucose check to confirm findings. The new rules allow beneficiaries to also get adjunctive monitors, where users perform a finger stick test to ensure accuracy before making dosing decisions.

    How Can I Get An Affordable Continuous Glucose Monitor


    People who arent eligible for a continuous glucose monitor through Medicare may still be able to access an affordable device. Start by checking your health insurance to see if monitors are covered.

    If you cant get a monitor through health insurance, you can try contacting the manufacturers. Many companies offer financial assistance to qualifying customers to help them access monitoring technology, including free trials and ongoing discounts for supplies.

    Speak to your doctor if you want to try a continuous glucose monitor. Some doctors have stocks of supplies that theyre willing to share, and clinics may have professional continuous glucose monitors that they loan out. These are used for a short time to get a snapshot of your glucose data and gauge the effectiveness of your diabetes management.

    Finally, you can look for an affordable supplier. More monitoring systems are becoming available through pharmacies, and these are generally less expensive than ordering direct through manufacturers.

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