Medicare Can Help You Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Mature African American woman smiling and exercising.

Lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and build healthy habits that last a lifetime.

Nearly half of US adults 65 or older have prediabetes, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. But there’s help at hand—you can join the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, improve your health, and build healthy habits that last a lifetime.

If you have prediabetes, now is the time to act. That’s because you can prevent or delay developing type 2 diabetes by making simple, proven lifestyle changes. Preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes can also help you avoid other serious health problems, such as heart disease and kidney failure. Taking part in MDPP can make all the difference, and with Medicare Part B, it’s free!

MDPP, part of CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, is a two-year program that teaches you how to eat healthy and be more active so you can lose 5% of your body weight. That’s just 10 pounds for a person who weighs 200 pounds. 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 can be a challenge, especially changes that affect your everyday life. 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 with your coach to manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that get in the way of your goals.

Another big plus: You’ll join a group of people who are working toward the same 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, such as:

  • Showing you how to prepare healthy versions of popular local or international foods and getting ideas from group members.
  • Providing tips for eating healthy during holidays or events.
  • Sharing fun local events that can help you be physically active.
  • Giving you information to address specific challenges or concerns.

And because 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 to you.

Success!

Don’t just take our word for it—see these testimonials from people like you who lowered their risk of type 2 diabetes and reclaimed their health. Now they can do more of what they love!

How To Get Started

First, find out your risk of prediabetes with this 1-minute test. If your score is 5 or higher, ask your doctor for a simple blood test to confirm that you have prediabetes. You’ll need to meet these requirements to participate:

  • Enrollment in Medicare Part B through original Medicare (fee-for-service) or a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan.
  • Body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher (23 or higher if you self-identify as Asian).
  • Results from any one of these three blood tests within a 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%.
  • No history of type 1 or type 2 diabetes (gestational diabetes is acceptable).
  • 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 providersexternal icon or search by zip codeexternal icon. 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.

Page last reviewed: January 5, 2021