Does Medicare Pay for Insulin and Diabetes Medications?

Does Medicare Pay for Insulin

Medicare is an insurance program that helps people cover their expenses for certain health conditions especially diabetes and end-stage renal disease.

There are four primary Medicare plans, each to cover specific areas of diabetes. These include:

  • Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance):

Medicare Part A plan covers only in-hospital care charges including nursing care, hospice, and limited home-care services.

However, this plan is not for the usual diabetic person as it does not cover diabetes medications or Insulin.

  • Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance):

Part B also does not pay for your diabetes medications or insulin. It covers only preventive care, outpatient visits to doctors, and medical supplies like glucose testing devices and insulin pumps.

  • Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans):

Medicare Part C is an alternative option to Medicare Part A and B and is offered by private companies that are approved by Medicare.

In addition to covering Medicare Part A and B plans, Medicare Advantage also covers prescription drugs including Insulin and other diabetes medications.

  • Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Plans):

Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs including insulin and other diabetes medications. This plan is offered by private companies which are approved by Medicare.

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans can be added to original Medicare Part A, Part B, or Medicare Advantage Plans.

In addition, there are other plans like Medigap and Medicare supplement, Plan K, L, and M which pay 50%, 75%, and 100%.

Here is a summary of the four primary Medicare Plans:

Medicare Plan

Coverage for Insulin and Diabetes Medications

Medicare Part ADoes not cover prescription medications
Medicare Part BCovers some diabetes-related services
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)Coverage varies by the plan; may include coverage for insulin and diabetes medications
Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Plans)Coverage varies by plan; includes coverage for prescription  medications, including insulin and diabetes medications
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Does Medicare Pay for Insulin and Diabetes Medications?

Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Plan) covers insulin and diabetes medications. It also covers supplies to administer insulin, such as insulin pens and syringes. Note that Part D only covers injectable or inhalable insulin.

Some of the common insulin brands which are covered by Medicare include:

For insulin pumps, it’ll be covered under Medicare Part B as part of its durable medical equipment coverage (more of this later).

However, remember that enrollment doesn’t automatically happen even if you’re subject to Medicare Parts A and B automatic enrollment.

Hence, be sure to understand all Medicare Parts, particularly about Medicare Advantage vs Medicare Supplement, since you can’t have them both simultaneously.

Medicare Advantage combines Parts A and B, usually with Part D and other coverage. In contrast, Medicare Supplement is an add-on coverage you can buy if enrolled in Original Medicare Parts A and B.

If you don’t like either Medicare Advantage or the Medicare Supplement, you can enroll in a stand-alone Medicare D as long as you’re enrolled in Original Medicare.

Here is a table comparing Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement:


Medicare Advantage

Medicare Supplement

CoverageCombines Medicare Parts A, B, and DSupplements Original Medicare (Parts A & B)
NetworkProvider networks requiredFreedom to choose any Medicare provider
PremiumsMay have low or no monthly premiumsTypically higher monthly premiums
Out-of-Pocket CostsMay have copayments and coinsuranceMay cover most out-of-pocket expenses
Prescription Drugs CoverageIncluded in many plansRequires separate Part D plan
ReferralsOften need referrals for specialistsNo referrals are needed for specialists
Additional BenefitsThis may include dental, vision, hearingDoes not typically include additional benefits
PortabilityLimited coverage outside the plan’s service areaNationwide coverage
FlexibilityCan change plans annually during the Open Enrollment PeriodCan change plans anytime, but may require medical underwriting
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Other Medicare Benefits for Diabetes

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers diabetes services. This includes doctor appointments, up to two annual diabetes screenings by the doctor, the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program, glaucoma eye exams, and foot exams.

Medicare Part B also covers “durable medical equipment.” This includes diabetes-related supplies, including external insulin pumps, therapeutic shoes, home continuous glucose monitors, and glucose test strips.

For these diabetic supplies to be covered, they should be considered medically necessary and prescribed or approved by your doctor. With Medicare Advantage plans, getting preapproved from your insurance company is sometimes necessary.

With a diabetes diagnosis and your doctor’s written order for your treatment, Medicare provides instructions on an outpatient basis. This helps monitor your blood sugar, administer the prescribed medications, and promote a healthy lifestyle independently.

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Which Medicare Plan Covers Ozempic and Mounjaro?

Medicare Part D (Prescription Drugs) and Part C covers Ozempic, Trulicity, Rybelsus, and Victoza for diabetes management. However, these plans do not cover Wegovy and Saxenda for weight loss.

In addition, Mounjaro is not yet included in these plans and patients must have it covered via their commercial drug insurance.

Final Thoughts

There are different Medicare plans. Individuals with diabetes need to study the advantage and disadvantages of the different plans to get the most benefits.

For those who wish to get their diabetes medications covered by Medicare, Medicare Part D (Prescription Drugs) is the best plan.

This plan also covers some of the novel diabetes medications such as Ozempic, Trulicity, Rybelsus, and Victoza. However, it does not cover Ozempic, Wegovy, or Mounjaro intended primarily for weight loss.

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Buy Insulin with Insurance at Amazon

What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

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