Medicare Diabetes Screening Project
A National Drive to Find the Undiagnosed
As you get older, your risk for type 2 diabetes increases. Most people who are age 65 or older are at risk for type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Could you have diabetes and not know it?
If you are 65 or older, ask yourself these questions:
Could you have diabetes and not know it? If you are on Medicare, ask your doctor to check you for diabetes. Medicare covers the cost.
- Do you have a family history of diabetes?
- Do you have high blood pressure?
- Do you have high cholesterol?
- Are you overweight?
- Did you have diabetes during pregnancy?
If you answered yes to any of the questions, you are at risk for diabetes.
Once you have figured out that you are at risk for diabetes, the next step is to get your blood glucose tested. Medicare covers the cost of the blood test for most seniors who are age 65 and older. Next time you see a health care provider, mention that you think you are at risk for diabetes and would like to be tested. Your health care provider will know what to do.
If you find out that you do have diabetes, you can begin to take care of it. You can work with your doctor to get in control of your diabetes. Good control reduces your chances of a heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, or amputations.
If instead you learn that you have pre-diabetes, you can take steps to prevent diabetes from happening in the first place. Losing a little weight and becoming more active increases your chances of preventing diabetes. And you can get another free test for diabetes six months later.
Most people age 65 or older can get a free test for diabetes, once a year. Ask your doctor to check you for diabetes, and do it soon!