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At Risk for Diabetes? Use Free Preventive Care

You're at risk for type 2 diabetes if someone in your family has it, if you are overweight, have high blood pressure, or if you had gestational diabetes when you were pregnant.

Your doctor can test you for type 2 diabetes by checking a sample of your blood. This test will most likely be free.

You may also be able to get free help to work on improving the habits that raise your risk for diabetes, for example how you eat. Taking action early can prevent you from getting this dangerous disease.

Free Type 2 Diabetes Tests

Under the Affordable Care Act, nearly all health plans have to provide certain preventive care to their members at no cost. You don't have to pay a copay, coinsurance, or even a deductible to get these exams when they're used to help find conditions or diseases early, before you have symptoms.

  • A cholesterol test lets you know your cholesterol levels. People with abnormal cholesterol and high triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood) have a greater risk of having type 2 diabetes. If your levels are not in healthy ranges, improving them may help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes --as well as heart disease.
  • A high blood pressure test lets you know your blood pressure is in a healthy range. High blood pressure is another sign that you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Following a treatment plan to lower high blood pressure can lower your risk of heart disease.
  • A gestational diabetes test when you're pregnant shows if your blood sugar levels have risen to unhealthy levels. Being treated to bring your levels down helps prevent pregnancy complications. It also helps identify you as having a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.

 

Free Preventive Services for Type 2 Diabetes

In addition to having your blood checked for type 2 diabetes, you can use free services to help you improve habits that affect your chances of getting diabetes.

  • Nutrition counseling can help you make healthy food choices to prevent diabetes or to control your blood sugar and weight.
  • Obesity screening and counseling can help you understand if your weight is raising your risk for type 2 diabetes. With obesity counseling, you may be able to lose weight and lower your risk. Even losing as little as 5% of any excess weight can make you less likely to get type 2 diabetes.
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