The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) is recognizing National Diabetes Month in November. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it. Diabetes occurs because of the body’s inability to produce insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. If the body doesn’t make enough insulin, sugar can’t get into the cells and blood sugar levels can rise. High blood sugar can lead to health problems including heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and blindness.
CMS has added a new “Insulin Savings” filter on Medicare Plan Finder to display plans that will offer the capped out-of-pocket costs for insulin. Beneficiaries use the Medicare Plan Finder to view plan options and look for a participating plan in their area that covers their insulin at no more than a $35 monthly copay.
Diabetes is an important issue to CMS OMH because racial and ethnic minorities are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Many who are diagnosed experience challenges managing their diabetes and are more likely to experience complications. Several factors including lack of access to health care, quality of care received, and socioeconomic status are all barriers to preventing diabetes and having effective diabetes management once diagnosed.
Below are several additional resources that can help health care professionals, patients, and their families manage diabetes:
- Use the Medicare Plan Finder on Medicare.gov with more than 1,600 prescription drug plans to choose from that will offer insulin at no more than a $35 monthly copay beginning in January. Read more here: https://www.medicare.gov/blog/find-medicare-plans
- Download Managing Diabetes: Medicare Coverage and Resources, a new resource to help patients with managing their diabetes and health coverage. This resource is also available in Spanish.
- Watch Connecting the Dots, an animated video that provides chronic care management services information for Medicare patients living with multiple chronic conditions.
- Read CMS OMH’s Diabetes Management: Directory of Provider Resources, which identifies resources on the management of type 2 diabetes that could be useful for providers and care teams.
- Review our data snapshot, Diabetes Disparities in Medicare Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries that provides an overview of diabetes diagnoses data by race, ethnicity, and gender among Medicare beneficiaries.
- Review the data highlight Chronic Kidney Disease Often Undiagnosed in Medicare Beneficiaries.
- Read CMS OMH’s Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Diabetes Prevalence, Self-Management, and Health Outcomes among Medicare Beneficiaries, which examines the prevalence of diabetes among Medicare beneficiaries based on a variety of factors.
- View CMS OMH’s A Culturally and Linguistically Tailored Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Resources Inventory, which identifies resources for providers and care teams focusing on prevention and evidence-based lifestyle intervention.
- Download the Connected Care Toolkit, a chronic care management (CCM) resource that contains educational materials to raise awareness about the importance of CCM services for Medicare and dual-eligible patients with multiple conditions.
- Learn more about the new “Insulin Savings” filter on Medicare Plan Finder to display plans that will offer the capped out-of-pocket costs for insulin.