Are You at Risk for Diabetes?

medicare diabetesToday is Diabetes Alert Day. What does that mean?

American Diabetes Association Alert Day® is the fourth Tuesday in March each year. It is a one-day “wake-up call” to help increase awareness about diabetes and its risks.

The main message of the day is an invitation to take the Diabetes Risk Test. The test asks simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. The result tells you your level of risk for developing the disease. You also get important information about preventing diabetes.

Diabetes by the Numbers

Diabetes is a serious disease. Nearly 26 million adults and children in the United States have it, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). A quarter of them—7 million—do not even know it. In addition, 79 million, or one in three American adults, have prediabetes. Prediabetes puts you at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Unless we take steps to prevent it, says the ADA, as many as one in three American adults may have diabetes by 2050.

Diabetes Risk Factors

It’s important to know the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. If you are overweight, inactive and over the age of 45, you are likely at risk for the disease. African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and people with a family history of diabetes also are at risk.

Unfortunately, you can have diabetes for 7 to 10 years before it is even diagnosed. This can mean that disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop.

Early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of the complications of diabetes. Complications include heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and even death.

Take Charge of Your Health

Studies show that type 2 diabetes may be prevented or delayed by losing just a small percentage of body weight (only 15 pounds if you weigh 200). Regular physical activity—30 minutes a day, five days a week—and healthy eating can help you lose pounds, get healthier and prevent type 2 diabetes.

It’s important to talk with your health care provider about type 2 diabetes. If you are at risk, your provider can help you take steps that may prevent the disease from developing. Be sure to ask about it at your next Medicare Wellness Visit.

–This information is provided by Medicare Made Clear – If you or someone in your family is 65 or older and is in need of a Medicare Supplemental Plan or already has a plan, but wants to make sure that it is the right plan please give us a call (888)891-5557 or go to our website  and we will give you a quote and help you keep money in your pocket.

Choosing a Medicare Plan: How Leroy Decided

Find a Medicare plan that fits your needs can be a very important thing as you get closer to turning 65. See this example below provided by Medicare Made Clear.


Medicare offers a lot of choices. To find the plan that’s best for you, you’ll need to compare your needs with what’s available. In this post, you’ll meet Leroy1and learn why a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan (SNP) was a good fit for his needs.

About Leroy

Leroy is about to turn 65. He has had serious health problems for years. He suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure. To help manage these conditions, his doctor has told him he needs to lose a considerable amount of weight. Leroy takes insulin and blood pressure medication every day. In the past, he has also had some trouble with interactions of the drugs he is taking.

Leroy’s Medicare Wish List

  • Expert help managing his health problems
  • Help managing diet, exercise and weight
  • Discounted prices on prescription drugs

  Leroy’s Choice – Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan (SNP)

The Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan (SNP) Leroy chose is designed especially for people with diabetes. To be eligible for an SNP, an individual must qualify for Original Medicare. Specific SNPs may also require individuals to meet other eligibility requirements, like having a chronic medical condition. Qualified individuals are able to enroll in a SNP at any time during the year, rather than waiting for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period or other enrollment window. Some features that make this SNP a good choice for Leroy include:

  • Built-in prescription drug coverage
  • Access to a care manager who will create a plan for coordinating his care
  • Help with finding out if he qualifies for financial assistance with Medicare costs
  • Discounted prices on the prescription drugs he takes
  • Help with adopting a healthier lifestyle

Cost Sharing

Premiums (2012 figures):

–          $99.90 per month Part B premium

(If you receive Social Security, this will be automatically deducted from your monthly check.)

–          $24 per month Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan premium*

–          Total: $123.90 per month

*Hypothetical amount

Leroy pays his cost sharing as determined by the plan. Each plan is different. His total spending depends on the services and prescription drugs he uses. Remember: this is just an example. Costs vary from plan to plan. Contact the plan you’re interested in to see what your costs might be.

Make an Informed Decision

Leroy did his homework and got what he needed in a Medicare plan. It’s a good idea to understand all the parts to Medicare and research specific plan types so when it’s time to make your plan selection, you can make an informed, confident choice.

1 Fictional character created to show a specific set of Medicare needs and coverage options.

–This information was provided by Medicare Made Clear – Are you a senior age 65+ looking for Medicare Supplemental Insurance? Call 909-790-7748. We will explain your options and find the right plan for you.