Diabetes

Diabetes affects many parts of your life. Our diabetes case managers can answer your questions and work with you and your PCP to help you control it. Call 800-225-8698 for Case Management assistance.

Living with Diabetes

Diabetic Services:

  • CoverKids members can view a list of covered medications in the CoverKids Prescription Drug Program guide.
  • When medically necessary, TennCare provides coverage for:
    • Diabetic equipment and supplies; and
    • Training and education on how to manage your diabetes.
      This includes medical counseling.
  • Also, many kinds of insulin and oral medicines for diabetes are on the auto-exemption list for BlueCare and TennCareSelect Members (formerly called the pharmacy “short-list”). That means they do not count against your monthly drug limit. Too see the list:
  • Or you can call Tennessee Health Connection to get this list. The number is 1-855-259-0701.
  • If you have any problems getting your supplies covered by TennCare, call Customer Service. The number is on the back of your member ID card.

If you have diabetes, your levels of blood glucose (called blood sugar) are above normal. People with diabetes have problems converting food to energy.

Normally, after a meal, your body breaks food down into blood sugar. Blood carries blood sugar to cells all over your body. At the same time, your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin. Your body's cells use insulin to help change blood sugar into energy.

If you have diabetes:

  • Your pancreas may not make any or enough insulin
  • Cells in your muscles, liver and fat do not use insulin the right way.
  • As your blood sugar levels increase, your cells do not get enough energy. High blood sugar damages nerves and blood vessels.

Some of the signs of diabetes include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Feeling very tired much of the time
  • Very dry skin
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • More infections than usual.

Some of the risk factors for diabetes include:

  • Obesity
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Having gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant)
  • Physical inactivity
  • Race/ethnicity. (African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.)
  • Older age

Many of the risks for diabetes are things you can control. Keeping your weight at healthy level and being physically active are particularly important. Talk to your doctor about your risks for diabetes and ways to keep from getting the disease.

The complications from diabetes include:

  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • kidney disease
  • blindness
  • nerve problems
  • gum infections
  • amputation

Controlling your blood sugar levels can prevent or delay many of these diseases.

Need more information about diabetes?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Diabetes and Me

American Diabetes Association

For all diabetics, a balanced diet and exercise are keys to living a normal life. Although weight may not be an issue for Type 1 diabetics, they must always take insulin. Many people who have Type 2 or gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) are overweight. They may have a poor diet and a lack of physical activity. For Type 2 or gestational diabetics, losing weight and eating healthy may help you cut down on the insulin or other medicines you take. Maintaining a healthy weight is important to living a longer and healthier life.

How is your weight?

BlueCare Tennessee offers two programs to help you complete your weight loss journey - Join BlueCareFitnessSM or BlueCareFitness PlusSM by calling 1-800-225-8698.