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Minnesota State Employees Get the Benefit of Diabetes Prevention

State: Minnesota

Submitted Date: 2018

Public Health Issue
  • The State of Minnesota is the State’s second largest employer. Its State Employee Group Insurance Program (SEGIP) is the healthcare benefits plan for more than 92,000 state employees and their dependents.
  • Paying the higher healthcare costs for SEGIP plan members with chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, can greatly impact the state’s fiscal health.
  • Lifestyle change programs that are part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) are proven by science and can help people who have prediabetes and/or are at high risk for diabetes cut their risk of developing this disease by up to 58%.
  • Offering diabetes prevention lifestyle change programs as a covered benefit in an employee health benefits package makes these programs more accessible and affordable, and can potentially reduce the state’s healthcare costs while improving employee health and well-being.
  • The Minnesota Diabetes Prevention Network implements strategies for increasing benefits coverage for diabetes prevention programs and for expansion of the delivery system to accommodate the growing prevalence of prediabetes in Minnesota.
Program Action
  • The Minnesota Department of Health Diabetes Unit worked with key stakeholders to convene the Minnesota Diabetes Collective Impact Initiative, which engaged representatives of SEGIP; Medical Assistance, Minnesota’s Medicaid program; the Minnesota Health Action Group, a group focused on making healthcare better; and others.
  • Recognizing their common purpose, this group identified state employee benefit coverage for the National DPP as a priority, paving the way for SEGIP to implement the Diabetes Prevention Program as a covered benefit.
  • The Minnesota Department of Health provided evidence of effectiveness and information on the CDC Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program to stakeholders. Minnesota health plans wanted coverage for the National DPP established under Medicaid or SEGIP to lead the way and provide a solid example for other insurers.
  • SEGIP leadership guided the efforts to reach the coverage goal through collaboration with Network partners.
  • The State of Minnesota now offers the proven National DPP lifestyle change program as a covered benefit for Minnesota state employees and their adult dependents. This online program provides a full-time health coach, wireless smart scale, digital pedometer, weekly interactive lessons, and online support group to participants.
  • More than 6,000 plan members enrolled as of mid-2017; these members lost more than 46,000 pounds of excess body weight or an average of 4.3% of body weight for program graduates. Eighty-four percent of participants say they have increased appreciation for their employer - state government.
  • Learning from this success, other employers and some large county governments in Minnesota now make the National DPP lifestyle change programs a benefit for their employees; several Minnesota cities and healthcare organizations also make it available for employees and patients.
Houa Vue-Her
Minnesota Department of Health