Tools to help manage diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness month. Although it is an often-invisible disease, diabetes affects more than 35 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is also the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States, and people with diagnosed diabetes have a 50% higher risk of early death than those without.

The financial burden of diabetes is substantial. The CDC reports that the disease costs the U.S. an estimated $327 billion annually because of increased medical costs and lost wages.

People with diagnosed diabetes have on average 2.3 times higher medical costs than those without diabetes.

Fortunately, better health management can help people with diabetes live longer and healthier lives, while preventing or delaying diabetes complications.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, a partner with the Educators Health Alliance, offers innovative, proven solutions to manage, and in some cases reverse, diabetes.

Its suite of diabetes management and reversal offerings complement each other.

Nurses on staff
To support these programs, BCBSNE has nurse diabetes educators on staff to help inform, encourage and support those looking to better manage their condition.

“The fact that BCBSNE covers diabetes education programs, including programs for prediabetes, allows our members to get the most out of their health care coverage,” Kelly Zelenda, nurse diabetes educator, said. “We’re able to work with customers one-on-one and help them through their journey to a healthier lifestyle.”

Type 1, type 2 and prediabetes management program
BCBSNE nurse diabetes educators use a mobile platform powered by Wellframe to deliver personalized support and resources to patients, show real-time progress and enable easy two-way communication that helps members manage type 1 and type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

Type 2 diabetes reversal program
A program powered by Virta is available to EHA members and can help reverse type 2 diabetes using a clinically proven combination of nutritional ketosis, medical supervision and one-on-one health coaching. Virta helps participants lose weight, reduce blood sugar and A1c and get off diabetes medications for good.

$0 cost share for preferred insulin
Beginning in Jan. 2022, BCBSNE offered preferred insulin therapy at no cost to members diagnosed with diabetes.

To learn how these programs can help you on your health journey, call 877-721-2583 or visit