Diagnosed with Prediabetes? Here’s How to Find Support Near You
By Amelia Dmowska
Participating in a lifestyle change program could help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
The National Diabetes Prevention Program offers Lifestyle Change Programs designed for people with prediabetes who are interested in reducing their risk of type 2 diabetes. Whether that applies to you or a loved one, Lifestyle Change Programs are evidence-based programs worth checking out! Research behind the program has shown participation delays the onset of type 2 diabetes over a three-year period by 58% compared with doing nothing. Other benefits include weight loss, improved eating and exercise habits, and more energy.
Eligibility requirements include:
BMI of at least 25, or at least 23 if self-identified as Asian (click here for a BMI calculator)
An A1C level between 5.7 and 6.4% (see here for other blood tests that diagnose prediabetes)
No previous diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes
Do not have end-stage renal disease (kidney failure)
The standards for these programs are set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A trained lifestyle coach teaches the course, which can take place in-person or online. Online programs, however, are not covered by Medicare, but they are covered by some private insurance companies.
Workshops include lessons, handouts, and other resources focused on building skills related to healthy eating and exercise, increasing confidence, and setting health-related goals. Group support is a large component of in-person workshops and many online programs, as participants share their experiences, celebrate successes, and work together to brainstorm how to overcome obstacles.
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To find a Lifestyle Change Program close to you, follow these steps:
To find an in-person class near you, select your state on this site, and then select your city. Call the phone number of the program closest to you to learn how to register.
To find an in-person and online combination program, click here and look specifically for the “Combination In-Person/Online Program” notation.
To find an online program, click here and read more about online options here.
For those on Medicare, the online tool medicareDPP.org is a great resource. It helps people with eligibility verification and finding a Medicare-covered program nearby.
Who would benefit?
People with prediabetes or people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but not already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
How much does it cost?
Costs vary. Many employers and insurance companies cover the entire cost of the program. Starting on April 1, 2018, Medicare will cover the in-person program. Check with your employer or insurance carrier to see if the program is covered for you.
Do I need a referral?
Who teaches the program?
One or more trained lifestyle coaches.
What is the format of the program?
There are three options for the program: in-person, online, or combination in-person and online.
An in-person program includes face-to-face meetings with a lifestyle coach and group members with demonstrations, discussions, handouts, and private weigh-ins. These are usually held at local community centers, worksites, faith-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, and health and wellness centers.
Online programs follow a similar curriculum with a lifestyle coach, but they can be either in a group format or one-on-one. Some online programs also have the option of attending in-person sessions. To learn more about online programs, click here.
There are both in-person and online programs available in Spanish.
All programs last one full year. During the first six months of the program, participants meet about once a week for an hour. For the second six months, participants meet once or twice a month.
If you don’t have the time to attend an in-person Lifestyle Change program, consider enrolling in an online option. These online programs are approved by the CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program, meaning they meet all standards of an in-person program. Though online programs are not covered by Medicare, most of these programs partner with health plans and employers to cover the costs of these services. Your employer may offer one of these online programs as part of their employee benefits, so be sure to ask.
Read below to learn about some select online Lifestyle Change program options, sorted alphabetically. To see all online options, click here.
Canary Health offers a digital diabetes prevention program that is recognized by the CDC, plus programs focused on stress reduction and living with chronic diseases. Healthcare organizations and employers typically partner with Canary Health to enroll employees. Ask your employer if they offer Canary Health.
Lark is an app-based diabetes prevention program recognized by the CDC and powered by artificial intelligence. As a result, users can get guidance at any time of day. Lark costs $19.99 per month for individual users, and it may also be offered by some employers and health plans.
Noom is another app-based diabetes prevention program that offers individual health and weight loss plans, plus personal coaching. Employers and businesses partner with Noom to enroll their employees. Ask your employer if they offer Noom.
Omada Health Prevent was the first digital Lifestyle Change program recognized by the CDC. Through this 16-week online program, participants are matched with a 10- to 15-person support group and a professional online coach who provides support and advice. The Omada program also comes with a connected weight scale, meaning no manual entry of body weight. Prevent costs $520 for the 16-week intervention, or about $33 per week. This cost is covered by many insurance companies and health plans.
Yes Health is an entirely mobile, 16-week Lifestyle Change program available for individuals to purchase directly for $39 per month. This app, created in partnership with the UCSF Diabetes Center, provides a personal plan and coach with suggestions for meals, fitness, and general well-being.
This article is part of a series on affordable programs that help people learn skills and tools to manage their diabetes or prediabetes. To learn about different available programs, click on the links below:
[Image credit: CDC]