More than half of all adults in Texas live with prediabetes or diabetes, according to a report from the American Diabetes Association. This means there are nearly 10 million people affected by diabetes in the state, with hundreds of thousands more being diagnosed each year. Diabetes can have damaging effects on your health. It can contribute to heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease and other serious health conditions.
If you live with diabetes, you know that staying healthy means managing the condition every day. Having a strong health care team can help you. Your team should include your primary care provider (PCP) and other specialists, like a dietitian or pharmacist. However, the most important member of your health care team is you.
Be responsible, informed and involved
It’s up to you to take your medications exactly as your doctor tells you to. You may need to test your blood sugar and blood pressure every day. Remember to check your feet for cuts, blisters, red spots or swelling. Brush and floss your teeth regularly. And if you smoke, stop. (See the article below and think about using your health plan’s tobacco cessation resources
at no cost to yourself.)
Regular appointments with your PCP can help you reach your health goals. At your regular checkups, ask:
- what your A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are and what they should be;
- what you can do to reach your A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol goals and
- what treatment and management options might be right for you.
For people with Type 1 diabetes, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) might be a good choice. CGMs check your blood sugar frequently, day and night. This can help you make more timely, informed decisions about your food, physical activity and medications. Some CGM models can even send information to a caregiver’s smartphone. This is particularly helpful to parents caring for a child with Type 1 diabetes.
Use your resources
Let your family and friends know what they can do to help you eat well and stay active. Also, make sure you understand what your health insurance plan provides in coverage and resources.
For example, if you are a HealthSelect of Texas® participant, you have coverage for doctors’ office visits, diabetes self-management equipment, like CGMs, and diabetic supplies. (For detailed benefits for your specific HealthSelect plan, go to the Publications and Forms page at www.healthselectoftexas.com and view your plan’s Master Benefit Plan Document.)
Through your HealthSelectSM coverage, you have access to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas’ (BCBSTX) resources. For participants with chronic conditions like diabetes, BCBSTX care management clinicians are available to provide additional support, like reviewing your treatment plan, pointing you to local resources, coordinating with your health care providers, and answering any questions you may have. Call a BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant toll-free at (800) 252-8039 and ask to speak with a clinician.
What can a care management clinician from BCBSTX do for you? Watch this video to find out.
Your HealthSelect plan also includes self-management programs, health coaching and goal trackers through the Well onTarget® wellness portal. If you need help controlling your weight, you may be eligible to enroll in a weight management program, Naturally Slim® or Real Appeal®. Visit www.healthselectoftexas.com or call a BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant toll-free at (800) 252-8039, Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT to learn more about these resources and to find out how your medical plan covers your care for diabetes.