Reversing Diabetes Saves Money, Saves Lives
See what OptiMed’s WorkPlace Wellness is serving up to help your groups
The data is daunting.
- More than 34 million Americans are diabetic.[i]
- Approximately 1 in 3 Americans are prediabetic.
- Among those who have died during a bout with COVID-19, 40 percent were diabetic.[ii]
Each of us know multiple people for whom this disease seriously hampers their health. We might be in its grip ourselves. Management of it is expensive especially for those requiring insulin.
In recognition of National Diabetes Month, we point out again that OptiMed offers a program for employers, WorkPlace Wellness, a value-added service included with our health plans. At no extra charge, group members can manage their diet and exercise through an app and get feedback from a registered dietician after reviewing their food journal. There are also instructional and informational videos and flyers.
Poor diet and lack of exercise are the leading causes of diabetes.[iii] WorkPlace Wellness can change lives.
For an added fee of $69, they can enroll in a diet and exercise program designed specifically to reverse Type II diabetes. Yes, that’s right, reverse Type II diabetes and actually, it’s not even $69 because OptiMed members can email to receive a 20 percent discount code.
Getting My Life Back
Based on a true story.
I remember the day, that I couldn’t take it anymore.
My alarm went off at 7 a.m. I rolled out of bed and staggered half-awake into the bathroom. After a 10-day streak of hitting a higher number on the scale each morning, I was hoping to trim off a pound or two and start moving downward.
Instead, the highest number I had ever seen blinked onto the screen -- 216.8lbs.
That’s not a bad weight if you’re an NFL running back but I was a 50-something female executive. My business suits were tightening, many in need of alteration.
I was mad, frustrated, and hopeless. It took all of the energy that I had to get myself ready and off to work; a routine that included a shot of insulin for my Type-II Diabetes.
Routinely, the office had the TV morning newscast playing in the lobby. That day, they featured a nutrition segment with a woman named Kelly Springer. She was talking about the health benefits of apples.
I remember wishing I could look like her, desperate for healthy eating to be as easy as she made it seem. I decided to look up her company, Kelly’s Choice, from my office computer. I saw that I could book an appointment and decided it was worth the cost. A life of happiness and health is priceless.
My appointment with Kelly was the next week. Walking in, I was nervous and embarrassed, afraid that she would judge me or turn me away. Instead, I was greeted with a smile. She never once looked me up and down to gauge my size. She treated me like a person, with kindness and courtesy. She welcomed me into her office and asked about my goals.
“I want to lose weight,” I said, thinking that was probably obvious.
“Do you have any health conditions?”
“Type-II Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol,” I answered.
Yes, I embodied the trifecta of declining health resulting from sedentary living and undisciplined dietary habits.
“Well, I have some great news for you!” Kelly said.
“By improving your nutrition, you will not only lose weight, but you can also reverse each of the conditions you just listed. Plus, since you have Type-II Diabetes, most insurance companies will reimburse you for your appointment.”
I was shocked. Nobody had ever told me that I could reverse my Type-II Diabetes.
Yet, I was scared. “I can’t give up my grandmas recipes and I don’t even know how to cook vegetables,” I thought. I sat through the appointment anyway.
Kelly taught me how to read a nutrition label and showed me what a dinner plate of food should look like. Only half vegetables, phew!
She even told me that I could still have my grandma’s recipes so long as I also had some vegetables and protein with it. By the end of the appointment, it was all I could do to refrain from hugging Kelly which I resisted because I was sure I’d also break into tears.
For the first time in a long time, I believed in myself.
I met with Kelly regularly over the next 4 months and learned about each food group, how to incorporate them into my diet, and the specific health benefits of each. Kelly educated me on how diabetes works in our bodies, drawing pictures of what glucose, insulin and fiber do in our blood streams. She taught me how our glucose levels react to carbs and she educated me on the different types of sugars.
I was able to lower my A1C level into a normal range, get off all of my medications and lose more than 30 pounds.
Most importantly, I had my life back. I got ready for work each morning with energy and excitement. I was ready to take on the day with confidence.
The Virtual Program
Except for those residing in upstate New York, meeting with Kelly in person lacks feasibility. But COVID-19 has accustomed us to virtual engagement, and thus the diabetes program can be accessed through online video.
“As a registered dietician, I see multiple diabetic patients each day,” said Kelly. “Most are unaware that Type-II Diabetes is reversible. An average patient can reduce their hemoglobin A1C to normal range in about three months. It’s amazing how the body can rejuvenate itself to work properly once we implement an effective nutrition program.”
We posted “Defeat Diabetes” in August, which provides more “how to” information and addresses the potential savings in medical claims employers can achieve by helping employees eradicate this disease. The first step for plan administrators or members interested in accessing this service is to activate the WorkPlace Wellness account waiting for them. Plan admins can submit email addresses of all OptiMed members to firstname.lastname@example.org. Members can enroll directly at this link.
We’re highlighting WorkPlace Wellness and this personal story of reversing diabetes to remind brokers of this powerful value-added service included with OptiMed Health Plans.
As for the woman who got her life back, here’s a postscript.
It’s now been seven years – no more medication, greater energy, smaller clothing sizes, and enhanced zest for living.