Your Health: July 9, 2013 Medicare and diabetes supplies

{}{}{}{} Seniors on Medicare should be saving some money on their diabetes supplies.{}{}{}{} Medicare now provides a new cost-saving program that will require recipients to order their blood sugar testing supplies through a national mail-order program or a Medicare-approved pharmacy. {}{}{}{} According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services,{} Before July 1, Medicare paid about $77.90 per month for 100 blood sugar test strips and lancets which are the needles used to prick the finger.{}{}{}{} The recipients would pay 20 percent of that cost, which averages to $15.58 a month. {}{}{} But, now, that a national mail-order program is in effect, the total cost will drop to $22.47, due to a competitive bidding process. {}{}{}{} That means the cost to the Medicare recipient right now is around $4.50.{}{}{}{} This cost-saving program kicked off on July 1st.{}{}{}{} This change is expected to affect 2.3 million Medicare beneficiaries who are on traditional fee-for-service Medicare. {}{}{} This change doesn't apply to people on Medicare Advantage plans, such as an HMO or PPO, according to the CMS.

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