Who Can Get Free Testing and Prevention Services?
Most health insurance companies must cover these services. The exceptions are the grandfathered plans, which are health plans that existed before March 2010 that have not made significant changes to their benefits. Check your health plan's summary of benefits to see if you can get free preventive care services.
Why Is Testing and Prevention So Important?
People with prediabetes and diabetes often don't have any symptoms. Experts estimate that millions of people may have prediabetes or diabetes and not even know it. That's why it's so important to be tested before you have symptoms.
If you have prediabetes and don't take steps to improve your health, you have a 15% to 30% chance of developing diabetes in 5 years. You also have a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.
The good news is that with testing and focus, you have a fairly good chance of preventing type 2 diabetes. What it often takes is losing a few pounds and getting in more activity every day, such as walking more.
If you have diabetes and don't get treatment, it can cause harm to your whole body, leading to:
- Eye problems, which can cause blindness
- Hearing loss
- Skin infections
- Problems with your feet, which, if left untreated, can lead to amputations
- Kidney problems
- Nerve damage
- Stomach problems
- Gum disease
- Heart disease
- Stroke (If you have diabetes, your risk is two to four times higher than for someone who doesn't have diabetes.)