Islets of Hope  medicare programs for persons with diabetes

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Important Disclaimer

We have provided this information for general information purposes only.  It is not intended to be a recommendation or endorsement of any program or entity. - A directory of free supplies for Medicare enrollees without drug coverage.

Determining your Medicare Part B Costs - Not sure how your Medicare Part B health care co-insurance costs are calculated?  The following link is for California residents, but the calculation formula is true for all 50 United States.

Medicare Part B Calculation Information for Californians

National Diabetes Eye Exam Program

Contact information about an available eye exam program for Medicare beneficiaries age 65 or older who have diabetes and have not had a medical eye exam in the past three years.

National Diabetes Education Programs

The National Diabetes Education Program is a federally sponsored initiative to improve the treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes. This site contains a library of information on the program, campaigns, calendar of events, and publications.

Know the Medicare Law

In July of 1988 Medicare Reform improved coverage for persons with diabetes.  Under the changes a person with diabetes does not have to be insulin dependent in order to have testing supplies covered. This meant expanded coverage to include testing supples for type 2 diabetics not taking insulin.  Also, under previous guidelines, diabetes patient education had to be performed in a hospital.  Now, any program that meets Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) quality standards may be covered.


Your Diabetes Community Site Index                                      Main Insurance Page 
Financial & Assistance Programs for Persons with Diabetes                              Main Assistance Page

Medicare Program Information


Medicare is a Government program providing health care services for people who are 65 years and older. People who are disabled or have become disabled also can apply for Medicare, and limited coverage is available for people of all ages with kidney failure. To learn if you're eligible, check with your local Social Security office or call the Medicare Hotline listed below. Medicare now includes coverage for glucose monitors, test strips, and lancets as well as medical nutrition therapy services for people with diabetes or kidney disease when referred by a doctor. Diabetes self-management training, therapeutic shoes, glaucoma screening, and flu and pneumonia shots are also covered.

For more information about Medicare benefits, call the National Diabetes Education Program at 1–800–438–5383 and request copies of The Power to Control Diabetes Is in Your Hands and Expanded Medicare Coverage of Diabetes Services, or read them online at (click on "Control" under "About Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes"). You can also read the booklet Medicare Coverage of Diabetes Supplies & Services (.pdf) online or request a copy from:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21244–1850
Phone: 1–800–MEDICARE (633–4227)

To find out about Medicare programs in your state check the government pages of your phone book or visit our section on State Insurance Programs.

Diabetes Screening, Supplies, and Self-Management Training - (Medicare: Department of Health and Human Services).  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services created this site. It helps citizens understand what financial assistance is available for diabetes health care through the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  

Medicare Insurance Coverage of Insulin Pumps

The US Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) announced in 1999 that Medicare would cover the cost of insulin pumps for persons with type 1 diabetes. HCFA is the federal agency that administers the Medicare, Medicaid, and Child Health Insurance Programs. Always check with your insurance company to determine if insulin injection devices and supplies are covered under your plan.

Medicare Prescription Program

The Medicare Prescription Program offers a searchable database of prescription drug assistance programs.  The website offers information on public and private programs with discounted or free medication. You can also learn about Medicare health plans with prescription coverage.

To find out about Medicare prescription programs in your state check the government pages of your phone book or visit our section on State Insurance Programs.

Medicare Preventive Services - Diabetes Screening, Supplies, and Self-Management Training

Medicare Diabetes Preventive Care Program Information - You are considered at risk if you have any of the following: high blood pressure, dyslipidemia (history of abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels), obesity, 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. Medicare also covers certain supplies and self-management training to find and treat diabetes.

Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Program

Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Program – A program under Medicare offering free foot-care for diabetics.  The coverage  includes a specialized shoe program to help prevent complications for people with diabetes and those with foot problems.  Under the program patients are entitled to (annually) one pair of customized shoes, two sets of inserts, and a fitting by a podiatrist or shoe specialist.  Patients can order molded or a depth shoe.

Medicare Kidney Dialysis and Transplantation Program

Kidney failure is a complication of diabetes. In 1972, Congress passed legislation making people of any age with permanent kidney failure eligible for Medicare. To qualify for Medicare on the basis of kidney failure, you must need regular dialysis or have had a kidney transplant, and you must have worked under Social Security, the Railroad Retirement Board, or as a Government employee (or be the child or spouse of someone who has), or you must already be receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits. Every American needing dialysis for chronic kidney failure is eligible for dialysis assistance. For more information, call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1–800–MEDICARE (633–4227) to request the booklet Medicare Coverage of Kidney Dialysis and Kidney Transplant Services. This booklet is also available on the Internet at under "Publications."

For information on financing an organ transplant, contact the following organization:

Prescription Drugs and Medical Supplies

Applicants must be enrolled in Medicare and meet income requirements.

Pfizer - This company offers a "Share Card" to qualifying patients that permits them to purchase a 30-day supply of any Pfizer prescription medicine for only $15.00 per prescribed medication. Pfizer makes the sulfonylureas, Diabinese (chlorpropamide) and Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL (glipizide).  Over 44,000 pharmacies participate in the program.    Download their .pdf guide to the program.

Chart of Medicare Part B Coverage for Diabetes Services and Supplies (2006)

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Page Updated  02/17/2007