Preventing Type 2 Diabetes with Medicare

Key points

  • Nearly half of US adults 65 or older have prediabetes, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
  • You can join the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
African American woman carrying weights and walking

About MDPP

If you have prediabetes, now is the time to act. You can prevent or delay developing type 2 diabetes by making lifestyle changes. This can also help you avoid other serious health problems, such as heart disease and kidney failure. Participating in MDPP can make all the difference, and with Medicare Part B, it's free!

MDPP is part of CDC's National Diabetes Prevention Program. It's a 2-year program that helps you eat healthy, be more active, and lose 5% of your weight (if needed). These lifestyle changes can cut your risk of type 2 diabetes by more than 70%. Losing weight may also help you manage other conditions with fewer medications, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

How MDPP can help

Making changes in your everyday life can be a challenge, but you won't have to do it alone. A trained MDPP Lifestyle Coach will be there with you every step of the way. You'll work together to manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that get in the way of your goals.

You'll also join a group of people who are working toward similar goals as you. Together, you can share ideas, celebrate successes, and work through obstacles on the way to improving your health.

Your Lifestyle Coach will adapt the program to match your group's background, interests, and needs. This may include information on:

  • How to prepare healthy versions of popular local or international foods.
  • Tips for eating healthy during holidays or events.
  • How to address specific challenges or concerns.
  • Local events that can help you be physically active.

Healthy changes take time. You may be able to attend a full year of additional sessions after you finish the initial program, also at no cost.

How to get started

First, find out your risk of prediabetes with this 1-minute test. If you have a high risk, ask your doctor to confirm if you have prediabetes. You'll need to meet these requirements to participate:

  1. Enrollment in Medicare Part B through original Medicare (fee-for-service) or a Medicare Advantage plan.
  2. Body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher (23 or higher if you self-identify as Asian).
  3. Results from any one of these three blood tests within 1 year of starting the program: Fasting plasma glucose test result of 110–125 mg/dL, oral glucose tolerance test result of 140–199 mg/dL, HbA1C test result of 5.7–6.4%.
  4. No history of type 1 or type 2 diabetes (gestational diabetes is acceptable).
  5. No current end-stage kidney disease.

If you're eligible, enroll in MDPP today and start making healthy changes! Check to see if there's a program near you on this list of providers or search by zip code. The best time to start preventing type 2 diabetes is now.

Not covered by Medicare?‎

You may be eligible to enroll in the National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program, which is backed by the same research and success as MDPP.