Take diabetes to heart during National Diabetes Month

November 19, 2019

During National Diabetes Month, learn about the link between diabetes and heart disease and what you can do to lower your risk.

Did you know that having diabetes means you are more likely to develop heart disease and have a greater chance of a heart attack or stroke? That’s because over time high blood sugar from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. Because of this increased risk, National Diabetes Month 2019, observed in November, focuses on the link between diabetes and heart disease.

The good news is that if you are living with diabetes there are things you can do to manage your diabetes and lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. And, if you have medical coverage through the Board of Pensions, you’ll find a wealth of benefits to help.

​What you can do​How your medical benefits can help*

Know your numbers: Ask your doctor what your goals should be and manage your A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

​When you enroll in the Livongo for Diabetes Program, you’ll receive an advanced blood glucose meter, unlimited test strips, and access to a Livongo health coach, all at no cost to you.

Develop or maintain healthy habits: Follow a healthy eating plan and make physical activity part of your routine.

​Consultations with a network registered dietician are 100% covered if your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or more. Regular plan provisions (copays, deductibles, and/or copayments) apply if your BMI is less than 30.

Call to Health offers challenges plus Ignite Your Life coaching programs, such as Fast Fitness and Mission Nutrition, to help you adopt healthy habits and stick with them.

Learn how to manage stress: Try deep breathing, gardening, doing yoga, or listening to your favorite music.

​The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers online behavioral health resources, including a Managing Stress Toolkit, to help you build coping skills, learn about self-care, and more.

Stay on top of your medications: Take medicines as prescribed by your doctor.

​The Preventive Drug List includes both insulin and non-insulin drugs to treat diabetes. You pay reduced costs for these designated drugs, making it easier on your wallet to get the medication you need.

Stop smoking or using other tobacco products.

​The Breathe Easy Ignite Your Life coaching program, available through Call to Health, is designed by tobacco treatment specialists to help you quit the habit for good. And, certain prescription smoking cessation medications are 100 percent covered when prescribed by your doctor.

*Livongo for Diabetes, benefits for registered dietitian visits, Call to Health and Ignite Your Life coaching, the EAP, and preventive drug benefits are available to employees and their family members enrolled in the PPO, EPO, and HDHP. Those enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan should consult their plan’s provisions for detail about their benefits.