In recent weeks, Medicare introduced a new national program that changes who and how much they will pay toward your diabetic supplies. It may mean changes for you the next time you go to replenish your testing supplies and equipment.
Beginning July 1, 2013 Medicare will pay the same amount for
supplies, whether you buy them at a store or have them delivered to your
home. Mail-order suppliers will need to
be purchased from Medicare contracted mail-order suppliers.
If You Buy Diabetes
Supplies from a Mail-Order Supplier
It’s important to find out whether your current mail-order
supplier is a Medicare contract supplier. If it is, then that’s great. You can
just keep on as usual. If your mail-order supplier is not contracted with
Medicare, then Medicare will not cover what you buy. You need to find a
contracted mail-order supplier that sells the strips you use.
Contracted suppliers must accept Medicare’s approved amount as
payment in full for diabetes supplies. They can charge you only the 20% coinsurance, once you meet your
If You Buy Diabetes
Some pharmacies and stores stock and sell diabetes test strips
and other supplies. In this area, CVS and Sam’s Club accept the Medicare
approved amount and can only bill you for the Medicare deductible or 20%
co-insurance. Other stores may charge
you more than what Medicare will cover if they do not accept what Medicare pays
as payment in full.
Be sure to ask the store or pharmacy you use how much you will
be charged for diabetes testing supplies. If it is more than a 20% coinsurance,
you may want to look for another place to buy supplies.
Want to know if your current provider is a Medicare contract
provider? You can check by visiting the
Medicare.gov online Supplier Directory at http://www.medicare.gov/supplierdirectory/search.html or call the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days
a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.
The program is in effect in all 50 states, the District of
Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. It
applies only to people who have Original Medicare. If you have a Medicare
Advantage plan, you need to contact your plan for more information.