National Action

Medicare and Diabetes

As America’s population ages and the Medicare population expands1, the Medicare program is working to keep pace with their full range of benefits and services aimed at improving health outcomes of beneficiaries. As the prevalence of chronic diseases, specifically diabetes, continues to rise in both emerging majorities and the elderly, more Americans will rely on the Medicare program for coverage of their medical needs.

Improving Medicare Coverage

Patients need coverage and access to quality health care services and programs to successfully manage their diabetes.  While many essential self-management tools and resources are available to Medicare beneficiaries, gaps exist between the clinical guidelines for diabetes management and the benefits and services for which Medicare will reimburse. Additionally, some beneficiaries cannot access the spectrum of services offered through the program due to lack of education and awareness and/or proximity of health care services.

By understanding how beneficiaries with diabetes consume Medicare services and by identifying opportunities to advance diabetes care, we can help policymakers increase access for essential services, improve overall patient health outcomes, and reduce the economic burden of the program.

1 Lynch, K. (May 20, 2009). Tax revenue plummets. Retrieved from

2 Executive Summary: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. Diabetes Care, 31(1).

3 (2008) Medicare Coverage of Diabetes Supplies & Services. Retrieved from


Did You Know?

Overall, the risk of death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people without diabetes of similar age.2