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May 15, 2007 > Dealing With Diabetes? Medicare Can Help!

Dealing With Diabetes? Medicare Can Help!

Submitted By Peter Bauer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Do you or someone you love have diabetes? If you have diabetes, you should know that Medicare covers a number of screenings, services and supplies to help you stay as healthy as possible. Proper diagnosis and treatment of diabetes can make a big difference in your quality of life!

People who have already been diagnosed with diabetes can take advantage of Medicare benefits like these: Outpatient self-management training to teach you to manage your diabetes at home, Medical nutrition therapy, Glaucoma tests, Diabetes supplies, including blood glucose test strips, a blood glucose monitor, lancet devices and lancets and Diabetic shoes and inserts

Medicare Services Can Make a Difference. One senior told his story this way:

"I was admitted to the hospital with a blood sugar of 1000. With that level, I could have suffered a diabetic coma, but with the help of the resident dietician, my blood sugar decreased to between 89 - 120. By incorporating better food choices, I've lost 35 pounds and have controlled my blood sugar. I am off my insulin completely, my diabetic pill dosage has been cut in half, my energy level has increased, and I've eliminated symptoms of numbness and blurred vision.

Even if you don't have diabetes now, Medicare covers tests to check for diabetes for people who have risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, dyslipidemia (history of abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels), or a history of high blood sugar. Other risk factors may also qualify you for this test, and based on the results, you may be eligible for up to two screenings each year.

Look for a Medicare "A Healthier US Starts Here" event in your area to learn more about Medicare preventive health services. For more information on Medicare coverage of diabetes supplies and services, visit www.medicare.gov on the web. Under "Search Tools," select "Find a Medicare Publication" to look at or print the booklet "Medicare Coverage of Diabetes Supplies and Services." You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to find out if a free copy can be mailed to you. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

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