California and New Jersey Cover Diabetes Prevention for Medicaid Beneficiaries

California and New Jersey are following Montana and Minnesota by covering the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) for Medicaid beneficiaries, and as a result, anticipate millions in Medicaid savings.

In recent months, California and New Jersey signed bills into law that will make NDPP a covered service starting in January 2019 under California Medicaid or “Medi-Cal,” and operationalized under New Jersey Medicaid after amendments or waivers are approved. In a historic first, the California legislature additionally invested in diabetes prevention with an annual $5 million allocation from the state general fund.

Studies have shown that NDPP saves $2,650 in healthcare costs in the first 15 months for each person who completes the program. Public Health Advocates, a non-profit advocacy group, indicates that by funding NDPP, Medi-Cal can expect a savings of more than $45 million each year in reduced medical costs, almost four times the cost of the program. In New Jersey, Medicaid, covers one in seven adults under the age of 65 and has more than 235,000 adults at risk of developing diabetes. Experts expect New Jersey may see comparable savings in Medicaid spending as beneficiaries complete the program.

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