Diabetes is an incredibly common health condition, particularly for older adults. Approximately a quarter of adults over the age of 65 suffer from diabetes. November is American Diabetes Month, and now’s the time to educate yourself about the symptoms and treatments. Medicare covers a range of diabetes treatments to help you stay healthy and manage your blood sugar levels.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to make insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows glucose, or sugar, to flow out of the bloodstream and into our cells. It’s very important for glucose to move from the bloodstream into our cells to produce energy and keep blood sugar levels low. People who have diabetes need to take insulin regularly to keep their blood sugar levels stable.

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 happens when your body does not produce enough insulin to maintain blood sugar levels. This type is most common in children, but can happen at any age. Those who have Type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but the body does not use insulin effectively. This type can be managed with a healthy diet and exercise, although many people will eventually need medication to maintain their health.

Medicare and Diabetes

If you have Medicare Part B, you’ll receive coverage for a range of important diabetes supplies. This includes blood sugar test strips and monitors, as well as lancets and lancet devices. The amount of these supplies covered can vary depending on what your doctor says is medically necessary. Some people may also qualify for insulin pumps or therapeutic shoes.

Medicare Part B does not cover prescriptions, but Medicare Part D does. Medicare Part D covers the cost of insulin and a range of anti-diabetic drugs to help you maintain your blood sugar levels. Part D also covers supplies associated with these drugs, such as syringes, needles, gauze, swabs, and more.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may get more coverage beyond what’s provided in Medicare Parts B and D. Medicare Advantage plans are private insurance plans designed to provide coverage beyond what Original Medicare can offer. Since every plan is different, be sure to check yours to see what is and isn’t covered.

Preventing Diabetes

While you can’t prevent type 1 diabetes, there are steps you can take to prevent type 2 diabetes. The best way to do this is by adjusting your diet to minimize sugar and refined carbohydrates. Working out regularly and drinking plenty of water are also very important.

Although diabetes is very common, it’s a condition that you can manage with effective healthcare. If you’re interested in learning more about your Medicare options, contact Time for 65’s licensed partnered agents today. Fill out this form or give us a call to see how we can help.