September 5, 2008, Newsletter Issue #170: Medicare Part B and Diabetic Supplies

Tip of the Week

If you receive Medicare A benefits, you are eligible for Medicare Part B, however, Part B is not free. All Medicare enrollees who elect Part B coverage pay a monthly premium. The 2006 monthly cost is approximately $88.50, though the Social Security Administration can verify your exact premium.

There is also a deductible of $110, prior to Medicare B jumping in to pay. After that, Medicare Part B will pay 80% of the Medicare-approved cost of your medically necessary supplies and services.

You are not required to enroll in Medicare B, however if you decline to do so, when you first become eligible, you will pay a 10% penalty for each year that you delay, and this is a lifetime penalty.

Medicare B provides coverage for:

* Doctor's services
* Outpatient hospital care
* Some medically necessary services not
covered by Medicare Part A, like
physical/occupational therapy and
some home health care
* Diabetic supplies and services
- glucose monitors
- testing strips
- lancets
- lancet devices
- glucose control solutions
* Preventative care services
- "Welcome to Medicare" physical
for new enrollees
- screening for cardiovascular
disease
- diabetes screening
- glaucoma tests

If you are diabetic it is vital that you have cost-effective access to necessary diabetic supplies, health care and preventative care services. This can be accomplished by taking advantage of your Medicare Government benefits.

Call your Social Security Office for more information on Medicare B.

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