Reduce your diabetes risk with free program

September 2, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

If your last lab results indicated your blood sugar is higher than normal, you have prediabetes – and are at higher risk to develop diabetes and its complications. Get on track toward better health with a free, interactive diabetes prevention program (DPP) for employees covered by the U-M Health Plan.

Successful pilot completed in 2018

The program is a relaunch of a pilot U-M offered from 2015-18. Approximately 400 at-risk employees used curriculum developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn about prediabetes and how to adopt healthier habits to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

The current program is covered with no out-of-pocket cost to faculty, staff and retirees enrolled in BCBSM and BCN health plans and who meet eligibility criteria. Your adult dependents also are eligible. Eligibility is based on clinical evidence of prediabetes or risk factors that place the applicant at high risk for prediabetes.

Take a brief quiz to see if you’re at risk.

Goal is to prevent diabetes

According to the CDC, one in three Americans has prediabetes. Yet only one in 10 is aware of this risk for progression to type 2 diabetes.

“Diabetes is one of the most prevalent and costly chronic conditions affecting our faculty, staff, retirees and their families,” said Marsha Manning, manager of medical benefits and strategy, U-M Benefits Office. “We know that people with type 2 diabetes are at higher risk for complications, such as heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. The goal of the DPP is to help people with prediabetes learn new skills and implement behaviors to prevent or delay progression to type 2 diabetes.”

Pilot success story

Kent Seckinger, assistant director of systems in the U-M Benefits Office, participated in the pilot.

“Before participating in the DPP, I had known for a couple of years that I needed to make some changes to get my blood sugar and cholesterol down. I needed help building new habits and creating momentum,” Seckinger said.

“I lost 50 pounds and my blood sugar and cholesterol are normal now,” he added. “The program is practical, actionable and something I would recommend to anyone motivated to make changes for their health.”

BCBSM and U-M have again partnered with Omada Health, which participated in the pilot, to offer the current program. Although the pilot offered some in-person community components, Manning said an online program is ideal for safety and convenience as COVID-19 continues to be a concern. The program is interactive and accessible by computer and tablet, and there’s an app for smartphone use.

Access began Sept. 1

Eligible health plan members can apply for the program now, as access at began Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Applying is simple; you’ll complete a brief form to determine eligibility and risk factors. Within a few days, you’ll be notified of whether you qualify.

Shortly after, you’ll receive a wireless scale that’s already connected to Omada’s online tools to track your progress. You’ll also have access to a community that includes a personal health coach and a cohort of fellow participants. Online tools, such as educational lessons, tracking methods for physical activity and nutrition, and personal messaging with your coach, are included. Get a preview of what to expect.

New groups begin weekly. The program is based on a one-year curriculum, with continuing support for up to an additional year.