How can I get a blood sugar and blood pressure machine with Medicare?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 05, 2016
Lostsong asked...

I was wondering how to go about getting a Blood sugar and blood pressure machines when you are on Medicare(Part A and B) and do they even cover.

Expert Answers

The answer is different for the two different pieces of equipment. Medicare can cover a blood sugar (glucose) monitor and related supplies, if prescribed by your doctor. But except in very unusual circumstances, and then only for very short-term temporary use, it does NOT cover a blood pressure monitor. Here's how the coverage works.

First of all, what's called durable medical equipment used at home is covered by Medicare Part B not Part A (unless the equipment is supplied by a home health care agency while you're receiving Medicare-covered home health care). Medicare Part B helps you rent some types of medical equipment, while it helps you buy other types of equipment; in some cases you can choose between renting or buying. Either way, Medicare usually pays 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount (after you've paid your Medicare Part B deductible for the year). You are personally responsible for the other 20 percent. Also, it's important to rent or buy your equipment from what's called a Medicare "participating supplier." Only then can you be sure that Medicare will pay its share of the cost, and that the supplier cannot charge you more than the Medicare-approved amount. You can use Medicare's convenient directory of durable medical equipment suppliers to find a list of participating suppliers near you.

For more information on how Medicare part B covers certain medical equipment, see Medicare's online booklet Medicare Coverage of Durable Medical Equipment and Other Devices.