Insurance Information Regarding Diabetes

Navigating the Insurance Maze: "Covered vs. Preferred"

Have you ever been given a free blood glucose meter, then discover the testing strips you need cost as much as your "free meter"? You may have been told the strips for your meter are "covered" on your insurance plan. That is often true, but are they "preferred" by your insurance plan?


Covered means your insurance plan will pay for part of the cost for the strips.


Preferred means your insurance plan has a contract with certain manufacturers, so you will pay less for the preferred strips than the covered strips. A good way to remember this is that you prefer to have preferred coverage.

Medicare Part B

Medicare part B pays for all strips at the same rate:

  • If you don’t take insulin, Medicare pays for enough strips to test once a day.
  • If you do take insulin, Medicare pays for enough strips to test three times a day.
  • If you and your doctor feel you need more testing, the doctor needs to write a prescription for the testing amount and the reason why extra tests are needed.
  • To obtain the extra supplies, you will need to provide copies of your blood glucose log to the pharmacy or mail order company providing your supplies. This verifies that you are testing.
  • If you have supplemental insurance, it may cover the cost for additional strips.

If you have questions or need assistance with this process, please contact the St.Vincent Diabetes Center at (317) 338-2349.