Use Your Free Livongo Benefit to Manage Your Diabetes

Are you or a family member living with diabetes? Data shows the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes in the United States is rising each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • More than 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it.
  • More than 88 million US adults have prediabetes, and more than 84% don’t know they have it.
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States (and may be underreported).
  • In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese.

So, what is diabetes? There are two variations: Type I and Type II. As explained by MSU’s Health eGuide, Type I diabetes occurs when the pancreas ceases to make insulin, a hormone that helps the body use sugar for energy. Lack of insulin causes a high blood sugar level, which can be harmful to many parts of the body and can increase the risk for other health complications. Type II diabetes differs in that the body is still able to make insulin, however, it is unable to use it in the right way. While Type I diabetes is not yet preventable, Type II can be avoided by living a healthy lifestyle (Healthwise Staff, 2020).

For those living with diabetes, MSU offers a benefit called Livongo – a diabetes management program completely free to MSU employees and their spouses/dependents. The Livongo program aims to reduce the burden on those living with diabetes by offering technology and support to help members easily manage their health.

One of the first to enroll in Livongo was Jeff Brodie, a Management Analyst for MSU Human Resources, who was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011. Here’s what Jeff had to say about his experience using Livongo: “There is nothing to lose at all, and everything to gain. Even if you sign up and do the minimal, you will be healthier than if you didn’t sign up at all.” You can read more about Jeff’s experience using Livongo in this previous HR blog post.

You can enroll for Livongo at any time and it takes less than 10 minutes to sign up. Once you register, you will receive a welcome kit in the mail. The kit contains your own Livongo connected meter, unlimited testing strips, a lancing device, lancets, a carrying case, and optional coaching by a healthcare professional. Many users say the best part of the program is the unlimited free test strips and lancets mailed right to your door whenever you need them – why pay for these supplies when they are available free?

To learn more about using your free Livongo benefit, visit the Livongo for Diabetes Management webpage. If you have questions or are ready to sign up, visit the Livongo website. Find more testimonials for Livongo here. Do you have your own experience with Livongo? We’d love to hear in the comments below or email us at hrcommteam@hr.msu.edu.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020, June 11). Diabetes Quick Facts. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/quick-facts.html

Healthwise Staff. (2020, June 29). Diabetes. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://www.healthwise.net/health4u/Content/StdDocument.aspx?DOCHWID=center1010

Coronavirus: MSU Benefit Resources Round-Up

As the situation and details regarding the coronavirus and its impact continue to unfold and change, we want to make sure you’re aware of various benefit-related resources to help you and your family. Here’s a breakdown of what’s available:

Health Care Resources

  • Teladoc for Online Medical Care: employees and their dependents currently enrolled in an MSU health plan have 24/7 access to a health care professional via web, phone or mobile app. Teladoc is an ideal tool if you’d like to have a doctor evaluate and treat symptoms while minimizing in-person contact. Teladoc doctors are equipped to answer questions about the coronavirus, evaluate your risk, and advise on next steps. MSU employees most commonly get help with cold/flu, bronchitis, allergies, pink eye, dermatology and more. Employees and their dependents who are over the age of 18 can also receive medical care for behavioral health (depression, anxiety, etc.). Learn more about Teladoc and how to sign up.
  • Prescription Refills and Delivery to Your Home: MSU’s prescription drug plan is administered through CVS Caremark, and MSU Pharmacy on campus is a CVS-preferred pharmacy. To help you and your family during this time, CVS Pharmacy and MSU Pharmacy are offering free prescription delivery to your home. Additionally, MSU Pharmacy offers a 90-supply on prescriptions and CVS Pharmacy is waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescriptions for maintenance medications at any in-network pharmacy. Learn more about prescription resources.
  • Livongo for Free, Unlimited Diabetes Supplies Delivered to Your Home: Livongo is a diabetes management program completely free to MSU employees, their spouse and dependents. After you sign up, you will be shipped the Livongo Welcome Kit that includes the Livongo meter and all the supplies you need to check your blood glucose. This is an ideal tool to help you receive necessary medical supplies for free without leaving your home. Learn more about Livongo and how to sign up.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Care Resources: BCBSM is offering different ways to see a health care professional from the comfort of your home, so you can keep yourself and others safe. Their 24-Hour Nurse Line allows you to speak to a registered nurse if you have questions about the coronavirus or would like free health care advice. Blue Cross Online Visits allows you to have a face-to-face, virtual visit with a doctor 24/7. Options available are based on the MSU health plan you’re enrolled in – find out more here.
  • Employee Assistance Program and MSU Health4U for Counseling: The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential counseling service provided at no cost to MSU staff, faculty, retirees, graduate student employees, and their families. The EAP and MSU Health4U are now offering counseling services by either video conferencing or phone. Learn more about counseling services.
  • Food and Nutrition Appointment with MSU Health4U: MSU Health4U is now exclusively offering telehealth video conferencing appointments for their food and nutrition services. Learn more about scheduling a food and nutrition appointment.
  • Tips for Taking Care of Yourself in Times of Uncertainty: the WorkLife Office understands the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus is likely causing stress about the unknown and how best to move forward. Consider these WorkLife Office self-care tips.

Child and Elder Care Resources

Remote Work Resources

  • MSU Guide to Remote Access: visit remote.msu.edu/working website for the most up-to-date information and resources related to remote work options. Find more details about collaboration tools, connecting remotely, FAQs and more.
  • Work-Related Frequently Asked Questions: these FAQs on the HR website will continue to be supplemented and modified as the situation develops.
  • WorkLife Office Tips for Remote Work: the WorkLife Office is working hard to support you during this time by developing a variety of remote-work resources, including blog posts, webinars, and feedback surveys to assist employees. Learn more on the WorkLife Office website.

Professional Development Resources

  • Use elevateU for professional development: while in-person classes through Organization and Professional Development are currently unavailable, elevateU offers free online resources to MSU employees to help you continue your professional development. Find books, videos, courses and more that cover a variety of topics including leadership, change management, communication skills, project management and more. Learn more about elevateU and how to access it.

Find the most up-to-date information about MSU’s response to the coronavirus at msu.edu/coronavirus. Additionally, MSU employees should check the remote.msu.edu/working website for the most up-to-date information and resources for remote work options.