Does Medicare Cover Diabetic Test Strips?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Medical supplies, such as diabetic test strips, are typically covered by Medicare Part B. However, limitations on quantity, providers and brand may apply.

Medicare Part B covers some forms of durable medical equipment (DME), a category under which diabetic test strips may fall. The variances in coverage come in the form of quantity, provider type and manufacturer. 

What Are Diabetic Test Strips?

A diabetic test strip is a chemically treated piece of laminate that works with a blood glucose meter to check glucose levels in the blood. These disposable strips are inserted into the electronic meter after an individual pricks their finger just enough to get a droplet of blood to place on the strip. 

The reaction between the blood and the strip creates a measurement of blood glucose, which can indicate ranges for those with diabetes. The use of these strips can help to diagnose diabetes. They are also pertinent in the efficacy of diabetes management, which is why those with diabetes are strongly encouraged to check their levels daily. 

Does Medicare Cover Diabetic Test Strips?

Medicare does cover the cost of diabetic test strips as long as the provider recommending them as a medical necessity and strip manufacturers are both Medicare-approved. 

Coverage for diabetic test strips and other medical supplies through a Medicare Advantage plan must at least meet the parameters of original Medicare programs. Where variances may occur is in choice of providers or suppliers, cost and protections. 

Part B also has variances in quantity, depending on diagnosis and treatment protocol. For instance, beneficiaries with diabetes who use insulin may be allotted up to 300 test strips and 300 lancets every three months. Those who do not use insulin may be allotted up to 100 test strips and 100 lancets every three months. 

If a provider says that it is medically necessary, Medicare may cover the cost of additional strips for some beneficiaries. They may be required to maintain a record of how often they are using the strips for glucose testing purposes. Additional documentation may be necessary for such circumstances. 


If diabetic strips are recommended by a provider who takes Medicare, Part B beneficiaries generally pay 20% of the amount approved by Medicare for DME after meeting the Part B yearly deductible. 

Medicare won't pay claims from diabetic strip providers not covered by the network. Moreover, those providers and suppliers that do participate in Medicare must "accept assignment" to ensure proper coverage parameters.

This means that the beneficiary can only be charged the coinsurance amount and the Part B deductible for the cost designated by Medicare for DME. Those that do not accept Medicare assignment may charge any price they wish. 

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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