Diabetes and Medicare Deep Dive: Part 2
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Diabetes and Medicare Deep Dive: Part 2

Diabetes is a serious and pervasive disease in the United States. With around 9% of the population suffering from this disease, it is among one of the most common chronic diseases faced in our country -- especially among the elderly. According to National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017, the percentage of adults 65 and older living with diabetes has increased to 25.2% (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017).

In this three-part series, we are taking a closer look at this disease and its effects on Americans. In this second installment, we will be examining the way that diabetes affects the elderly, especially those on Medicare.

Diabetes Prevention and Medicare

The increased emphasis on offering preventative health services through Medicare has meant that there are now more resources available to help those who are at risk of developing diabetes. Medicare beneficiaries can now be diagnosed and receive medical advice that may help prevent the disease from fully developing.

Diabetes and Original Medicare

When it comes to diabetes care, Medicare Part B is probably the most relevant portion of what is traditionally considered Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Part B covers many important outpatient services, medication, and supplies for diabetes care. Some (but not all) examples of what is included:

·         Blood Glucose Strips

·         Lancet devices

·         Glucose Control Solutions

·         Insulin Pumps and Pump Supplies

·         Obesity Screening

·         Glaucoma

While Original Medicare does cover a wide range of diabetes medical treatments, you will be required to pay a monthly premium. You will still be responsible for a deductible on many of your medical expenses. Typically, that deductible will be 20% of the Medicare-approved cost. Medicare Supplement insurance may cover those gaps in which Original Medicare does not cover.

Diabetes and Medicare Part D

Part D is an important plan to consider if you suffer from diabetes. That is because Part D allows you to choose a prescription drug program. While Original Medicare generally only covers insulin that is used in a pump, Part D allows you more flexibility. In addition, you could have more access to other drugs that can be helpful in combating diabetes.

Medicare Part D will cost an additional premium and requires a copay or deductible depending on the specific plan you choose. Additionally, you will need to pay attention to the coverage gap. This temporarily increases the copay on prescriptions after a certain amount has been spent (this “amount” is not enough to qualify for emergency coverage, though).

Medicare may be very beneficial for people with diabetes. Still, you will need to carefully weigh the benefits of different Medicare plans to find what is right for you.

In the third portion of this series we will examine the way that diabetes can affect life insurance. 

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