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Diabetes prevention: Weighty idea

To the Editor:

Benjamin Franklin once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…” and Medicare has adopted this “weighty” idea. Medicare covers preventative services at 100 percent to prevent and/or detect diseases early when they are most easily treated. Diabetes is one such disease.

According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2020, approximately 358,000 Minnesotans were diagnosed with diabetes, and an additional 118,000 people had diabetes but did not know it. Additionally, an estimated 1,441,000 people are living with a pre-diabetic condition in Minnesota.

Early detection through diabetes screening allows you to make lifestyle adjustments early in the hopes of improving your overall quality and longevity of life. Medicare Part B covers blood glucose screening up to two times per year if you are at risk of developing diabetes. An at-risk individual is anyone with high blood pressure, a history of high blood sugar, a history of abnormal cholesterol levels, or whose body mass index (BMI) indicates they are obese. Medicare also covers screenings when two or more of the following apply:

• 65 or older

• Family history of diabetes

• History of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy

• BMI indicates you are overweight

People on Medicare are encouraged to take advantage of the free Welcome to Medicare preventative visit and subsequent annual wellness visits. With the help of your doctor and Medicare’s preventative services, you can take control of your health, one “ounce of prevention” at a time.

The Senior LinkAge Line (1-800-333-2433) is a free, statewide service of the Minnesota Board on Aging in partnership with Minnesota’s Area Agencies on Aging. The Senior LinkAge Line is Minnesota’s federally designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and the place to call for questions and information on Medicare and much more.

Kelly Snell

Return to Community Specialist

Senior LinkAge Line


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