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Q: Does Medicare Part D Cover Insulin?

Asked by Anonymous on October 13, 2017

Erica Block October 13, 2017

Medicare Part D provides coverage for a range of diabetes supplies, including insulin. The supplemental prescription drug coverage which Part D provides is critical to have if you’re a Medicare beneficiary who uses injectable insulin to manage diabetes.

With the exception of insulin pumps, which are covered as durable medical equipment under Medicare Part B, all supplies used to deliver insulin, such as syringes, needles, alcohol swabs, gauze pads, and insulin pens, are covered by Part D drug plans. However, the supplies covered under Part D include only the devices and supplies that are necessary to take insulin. Other supplies used to manage and control diabetes, such as blood sugar testing strips, will fall under the coverage of Medicare Part B.

It’s not uncommon for diabetes patients requiring insulin to end up in the Medicare coverage gap known as the “donut hole,” where they’re responsible for paying a larger percentage of the cost for insulin. When this happens, a diabetic patient’s out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy will increase dramatically, so it’s very important for these patients to budget for its increasing cost.

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