Just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? Help is here.

We’ve got answers to your most common questions – including what to do next

Older woman at table

So you just got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Maybe this came out of the blue, or perhaps you had a sneaking suspicion. Either way, you need a path forward.

Learning what to do is extremely important because people with diabetes usually manage their own daily care. A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can feel scary and overwhelming, but remember: You don’t have to navigate this journey alone. You’ll have a whole care team behind you, along with access to resources and support from Blue Shield. What’s even better is that you can usually access these services and features at no additional cost. 

Let’s answer some of your most common questions.

What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes, is a disease that occurs when your blood sugar (also called blood glucose) is too high. Over time, high blood sugar can damage many parts of the body, such as your eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. That's why keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range is so important.


How do I care for myself if I have type 2 diabetes?
Diabetes self-management or diabetes care plan are terms you might be getting used to.  That’s because you’re the person most responsible for taking care of your diabetes.  It might feel overwhelming at first, but overtime, you will feel more confident. 

While each person’s care plan is unique, there are some best practice strategies that can help you manage diabetes.  Blue Shield makes managing diabetes even easier with programs and benefits at no additional cost.

1. Get your healthcare team together.

You likely already have a primary care provider (PCP). They will help you come up with a plan for managing your diabetes. If you don’t have a regular PCP, you can use the Find a Doctor tool to connect with a PCP near you.

You may also be connected with a certified diabetes care and education specialist who can help you learn the day-to-day tasks of managing diabetes.  Ask your PCP for a referral.  Most visits with a diabetes specialist are covered by your plan.

You may also be eligible for support through Blue Shield’s Care Management program.  With Care Management, you’ll have a dedicated care manager, educational resources, and an expert care team by your side. They can help you manage your diabetes, meet health goals and overcome everyday challenges.

2. Make routine care a priority.

Seeing your PCP, dentist and eye doctor regularly is more important now that you have diabetes.   

3. Learn to check your blood sugar levels.

Regularly checking – and tracking – blood sugar levels is one of the most important things people with diabetes can do. It can help people learn how different foods and types of exercise impact blood sugar. Seeing patterns can help you decide when and what to eat, and when to work out. Ask your healthcare provider for guidance on how often to test.

You can choose from many types of blood sugar meters. Your healthcare provider can go over options with you and show you how to use it. Depending on your plan,  you may be eligible to receive a discounted meter and testing supplies. To learn more, call the customer service number on your Blue Shield member ID card.

1. Try new healthy lifestyle changes.

2. Make medication management easier.


Can I keep my condition in check with diet and exercise? Or do I need to take medications?
For some people, a well-balanced diet, regular physical activity, and losing some weight might be enough to keep their blood sugar in range.

Even if you think you’re a pretty healthy eater, it’s smart to meet with a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator after a diabetes diagnosis. They can review your habits and help you get (or stay) on track. You can also check out the resources from Blue Shield below.

Many people with type 2 diabetes need medication along with healthier habits to help manage their blood sugar levels. Your providers will help you find the right medication for you, if necessary.


What’s my A1c, and why do I need to know it?
An A1c blood test measures average blood sugar levels over the past three months. In general, the goal is to keep A1c under 7%, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Higher A1c measures are linked to diabetes complications, so knowing the number is important for you and your healthcare team. You’ll likely have an A1c test at least twice a year.

How can Blue Shield help me with my diabetes?
Dealing with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis can feel like a lot. We get it. We’re here for you. Here’s how:  

  1. Sign up for a diabetes treatment program. Virta® is a program designed to treat diabetes and is available to eligible members at no additional cost. People who join get support to lower their A1c, lose weight, and even lower or eliminate the need for diabetes medications. With Virta, you can get a dedicated health coach and nutrition plan that’s tailored to your tastes and lifestyle. No calorie counting or exercise required. Plus, the app makes tracking blood sugar and weight easy.

  2. Understand your benefits. Your plan may provide benefits specific to diabetes care such as equipment, insulin, self-management training, and/or testing supplies. Call the customer service number on your Blue Shield member ID card or log in to your account to learn more.

  3. Get an expert team on your side.

  4. Take care of your emotional life. If you need extra mental health support, you may have access to the mindfulness and meditation app Headspace via Wellvolution®. You may also be able to access Ginger, an online platform that can connect you to a mental health professional almost instantly. Get started now.

  5. Hit the gym for less money. Your Blue Shield plan may offer access to free and discounted fitness programs, including Fitness Your Way™,* and for members 65 and older, SilverSneakers®.

  6. Get the helping hand to quit smoking for good. Smoking makes diabetes harder to manage, and it can increase the risk of serious complications, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage. For help quitting, check out these free digital resources from Wellvolution, including the EX Program, which is backed by experts from the Mayo Clinic. 

You’re about to start a brand-new journey, and we’re here to help you be as healthy as you can be – every step of the way.

*Fitness locations are not owned or operated by Tivity Health, Inc. or its affiliates. Fitness Your Way membership entitles member to use of the fitness location facilities and amenities available to the holder of a basic membership at the fitness locations.

Virta is a registered trademark of Virta Health Corp., a Delaware Corporation. 

SilverSneakers is a registered trademark of Tivity Health, Inc. © 2023 Tivity Health, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Tivity Health, Inc. is an independent vendor that provides solutions to improve health and well-being. Fitness Your Way and Tivity Health are trademarks or registered trademarks of Tivity Health, Inc. Tivity Health is solely responsible for the service provided above. All other brand names, product names, registered trademarks, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. © 2023 Tivity Health, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Wellvolution is a registered trademark of Blue Shield of California. Wellvolution and all associated digital and in-person health programs, services, and offerings are managed by Solera, Inc. These program services are not a covered benefit of Blue Shield health plans and none of the terms or conditions of Blue Shield health plans apply. Blue Shield reserves the right to terminate this program at any time without notice. Please note that for Medicare Advantage Plan members, Wellvolution is neither offered nor guaranteed under our contract with the Medicare program, nor is it subject to the Medicare appeals process. Any disputes regarding Wellvolution may be subject to the plan’s grievance process.

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