November is a crucial month in the health calendar as it is recognized as Diabetes Awareness Month. This is a time to bring attention to the disease and the millions of people affected by it. It’s also an excellent opportunity for us to shine a light on the importance of health, reminding everyone that your health matters!
- Type 1 Diabetes: An autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. People with type 1 diabetes need lifelong insulin therapy.
- Type 2 Diabetes: The most common form, often linked to lifestyle factors like poor diet and lack of exercise. It results in the body not using insulin properly or not producing enough, leading to elevated blood sugar levels.
- Gestational Diabetes: A temporary form that occurs during pregnancy, usually resolved after childbirth, but it increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Diabetes Management and Medicare: Know the Updates for 2024
One of the most significant challenges for those managing diabetes is the cost of the necessary supplies and medications. However, for Medicare recipients, there will be some important changes starting in 2024 that could make managing diabetes more affordable.
What’s Covered Under Medicare Part B:
- Injectable insulin used with a traditional insulin pump
- Insulin used with a disposable insulin pump
- Diabetes screenings and exams
- Diabetes self-management training (DSMT) – Medicare may cover up to 10 hours of this initial training – 1 hour of individual and 9 hours of group training. You may also qualify for up to 2 hours of follow-up training in each calendar year that falls after the year you got your initial training.
- Therapeutic shoes & inserts covered each calendar year:
- One pair of custom-molded shoes and inserts
- One pair of extra-depth shoes
Medicare will also cover:
– 2 additional pairs of inserts each calendar year for custom-molded shoes
– 3 pairs of inserts each calendar year for extra-depth shoes
In 2024, Medicare Part B will be extending the $35 monthly co-pay for insulin provided through durable medical equipment (DME). This is a significant improvement that will help many people manage their diabetes more effectively. Furthermore, blood sugar testing supplies will also be available with a $35 monthly co-pay, making it easier to monitor and manage diabetes-related complications.
Medicare Part D Coverage
For those using injectable insulin not associated with a traditional insulin pump or insulin used with a disposable pump, Medicare Part D has got you covered. Additionally, Part D covers certain medical supplies required for insulin injections, including syringes, gauze, and alcohol swabs. Insulin that is inhaled is also covered under Part D.
Starting January 2024, Medicare Part D will extend its coverage to include diabetes-related expenses. Under this plan, individuals can benefit from a $35 monthly co-pay for diabetes medications, and this cost won’t be subject to the plan’s deductible. This expansion is a positive step in making diabetes management more accessible and affordable for Medicare beneficiaries.
If you have Part B and Medigap covering your Part B coinsurance, your plan should cover the $35/month (or less) cost for each covered insulin.
Reversal and Prevention- Keep Diabetes in Check!
Type 2 diabetes, which constitutes about 90-95% of all diabetes cases, is often associated with lifestyle factors. According to the International Diabetes Federation, over 50% of type 2 diabetes is preventable. It’s essential to address preventive measures and potential reversals for individuals with type 2 diabetes or those at risk. For those with type 2 diabetes or at risk, lifestyle changes play a crucial role.
The 3 pillars to battle Diabetes are Weight loss, adopting a balanced diet, increasing physical activity.