Diabetes Management and Prevention
If you’re one of the 34 million people in the United States who have diabetes, you understand how costly it can be. It also costs the Fund over $14,000 per member per year! Keeping you healthy is worth it, but there are lifestyle and financial steps you can take to better manage your diabetes.
If you don’t have diabetes, take preventive steps. Over 90% of all diabetes cases are preventable by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
- Make conscious dietary choices. Red meat, sugary drinks and high-carbohydrate foods are okay in moderation, but there are better ways to get your nutrition. Get your protein from fish and your carbs from oats or whole-grain bread.
- Take off a few pounds. Diabetes, inactivity and obesity are connected. Losing even a little weight can lower your risk. The health benefits of light exercise will also help your heart and lungs feel better. If you already have diabetes, exercise can prevent your Type 2 from becoming Type 1.
- Control your blood pressure. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption put additional pressure on your heart. Even foods with too much sodium in them can make your heart work harder.
If you do have diabetes, manage it carefully.
- Take advantage of the Complex Care Program. Diabetes is a chronic condition, and Empire BlueCross BlueShield’s Complex Care Program can make your condition as manageable as possible. They will speak with you to set up a plan to keep you healthy. And, as a participant in the Fund, Complex Care is completely free to you.
- Keep track of your A1C percentage. If you’re not careful, diabetes can lead to digestive and kidney diseases. A1C measures your blood sugar levels over time. An ideal level for people with diabetes is below 7%, so make sure you’re visiting your primary care provider regularly to get tested.
- A healthy lifestyle is still important. Regular exercise and health-conscious eating helps you avoid complications from diabetes.
- Learn about the OptumRx Diabetes Management Program.
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As an Active Member, what is our Medical Coverage?
The Health and Benefit Trust Fund offers medical benefits to active eligible participants. Medical benefits include coverage for preventive care, doctor visits, hospital stays and other medical services. The Health and Benefit Trust Fund shares most of the cost of medical services when you visit in-network providers, meaning you pay less out-of-pocket for your health care. The Medical Plan is administered by Empire BlueCross BlueShield. For more information, go to the Medical Benefits page.