chevron_leftBlog
Home Blog ManageType2

Keep an eye on sugar levels to prevent diabetes complications

Mar 11, 2024
reading takes 4 min

If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you likely already know the risks that come with high blood sugar levels—heart or kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage or stroke. Low levels can pose problems, too, like blurred vision, nightmares, headaches, confusion or lightheadedness.

Diabetes has become a national epidemic—there are at least 37 million people diagnosed with the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Maine, more than 113,000 people—or about 10% of the state’s adults—have been diagnosed with diabetes, with an estimated 32,000 who likely have diabetes, but don’t know it.

It takes more than an occasional A1c blood test, a measure of average blood sugar over three months, to effectively manage Type 2 diabetes and prevent the serious complications that can go with it.  Even so, there’s a good chance that for many with diabetes, daily glucose monitoring can be hit or miss. Let’s face it: It can be a hassle to keep track with frequent finger sticks.

Daily monitoring empowers you to take control of your diabetes, whether measuring a few times a day with a glucose meter or using a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM) that tracks patterns 24/7. Daily monitoring can also provide real-time information and reveal patterns, like whether sugar spikes after a meal or drops to dangerous levels overnight. It can also show you how your body responds in real time to specific food, exercise or the medications you take.

For patients who need them, CGMs do more than put an end to the frequent finger sticks. With a reader or an app, CGMs provide ongoing, current information about what’s affecting blood sugar levels. And through your CGM app or account, you can share your information directly to healthcare teams and integrate with insulin pumps, allowing precise adjustments to dosing.  

With Prior Approval, Community Health Options now provides coverage for the Freestyle Libre or Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring System for Members who need that level of care. The company also covers Ozempic, Mounjaro and Trulicity, among select other GLP-1 medications (also with Prior Approval). You can find details on the company’s formulary. Members should talk with their providers to create a personalized diabetes management plan.

Community Health Options Members can also get help managing diabetes with free glucose monitoring devices and save money on test strips available by mail order through Express Scripts. Members on non-HSA plans can sign up for the Chronic Illness Support Program, which covers routine office visits, nutritional counseling, A1c blood tests and diabetic supplies listed on the company’s formulary. For those on HSA plans, Express Scripts’ Lifescan OneTouch Reveal program provides a free OneTouch Verio Flex meter that syncs with an app and tracks trends, while sharing the information with Express Scripts pharmacists who monitor results and help patients to overcome any obstacles to treatment.

Members with questions about how Community Health Options supports diabetes management can call the Maine-based Member Services team at (855) 624-6463 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

SEE ALSO

Once upon a time, anyone who needed immediate medical attention would head to the emergency room (ER). Today it’s important to know all the options available so that when a time of need comes, you're better prepared to get the care you need at a cost that won’t break the bank.

First, it’s important to say that, in cases of a medical emergency, dialing 9-1-1 or/and heading to your nearest emergency room is still the way to go. But, for less urgent needs, like a bad sprain or high fever, we recommend using an Urgent Care Center, which is available without an appointment and is typically less expensive than the emergency room. Review this list of Urgent Care Centers in New England or have it handy to familiarize you with the Urgent Care Centers nearest to you.

For even less urgent needs – like a chest cold that won't go away, or those times when a child needs a sign-off for a minor injury to play sports – you also have a telehealth option. Health Options offers Amwell® Urgent Care telehealth at $0 cost-share on all non-HSA plans and $64 and $0 after the deductible for HSA plans.

The Amwell telehealth platform makes it easy to talk to healthcare professionals trained in internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, and pediatrics about non-emergency needs whenever you need. For even more ease, if your telehealth provider recommends a prescription, you can get refills or be prescribed new medication. Note: Some prescriptions, including controlled substances, cannot be prescribed online. 

To get started with telehealth services, log into your Member portal, and click on the Health & Wellness tab. Once you've registered, your information will be stored for future visits. Telehealth makes access to care easy and affordable – no waiting room required.