Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program

You can prevent type 2 diabetes with the Medicare diabetes prevention program. If your diabetes screening result is pre-diabetes, you qualify for this proven health behavior-changing program. According to Medicare.gov, this program is free if you meet the following conditions:

  • Pre-diabetes test results: A1C 5.7% to 6.4%, fasting plasma glucose 110-125mg/dL, or 2-hour glucose tolerance 140-199mg/dL within 12 months of your first core session
  • Overweight: BMI of 25 or more (23 if Asian)
  • Never diagnosed with type 1 or 2 diabetes or ESRD
  • Never participated in the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program
Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program - blood drawn
Senior gets blood drawn for diabetes screening

Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program

Medicare Part B pays for this program when you meet all of the conditions above. It includes 16 core sessions in a group setting for six months. Furthermore, you get the following benefits:

  • Training to make realistic, lasting behavior changes
  • Tips on how to get more exercise
  • Strategies for controlling your weight
  • A behavior coach, specially trained to help keep you motivated
  • Support from people with similar goals
Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program - seniors walking
Walking helps prevent type 2 diabetes

Program Goals

The goal of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program is to prevent type 2 diabetes in individuals with pre-diabetes. According to CMS.gov, the 16 intensive “core” sessions of a CDC approved curriculum provides the following:

  • Practical training in long-term dietary change
  • Increased physical activity
  • Behavior change strategies for weight control

The primary goal is at least 5 percent weight loss by participants. 

Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program - senior weightloss goal

Lifestyle Coach and Program Details

The program includes a lifestyle coach to help you set and achieve realistic goals, keep you motivated, and manage stress. You can meet group members and the lifestyle coach in-person or online. During the first six months, you meet once a week, and you can talk privately with your lifestyle coach.

As a group, you will discuss the challenges you face in losing weight, eating healthy, and increasing your physical activity. Moreover, your coach will help you overcome obstacles in the way to your success. Finally, this program is proven to work with thousands of people.

Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program - lifestyle coach in classroom
Lifestyle coach in-person classroom setting

What else does Medicare cover for diabetes?

In addition to the Diabetes Prevention Program, Medicare covers the following:

To help you decide what Medicare services are most relevant to you, read the informative summary of what Medicare covers for diabetes.

Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program - happy senior couple