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New health insurance laws in Maryland taking effect regarding lymphedema aswell


New laws in Maryland will require insurers to provide benefits for patients with certain health conditions, including high blood sugar levels that pose a risk for diabetes as well as a particular kind of chronic swelling.

One law taking effect Tuesday expands coverage for equipment, supplies and self-management training to apply to elevated or impaired glucose levels caused by prediabetes. That’s a condition when blood sugar levels are elevated but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. The new mandate also will apply to treating impaired glucose levels induced by pregnancy.

About 1.6 million adults in Maryland have prediabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. It is usually treated with dietary changes, exercise and weight loss. The new law also allows reimbursement for services from a licensed dietitian or nutritionist for the treatment of prediabetes and obesity.

Another new law will require health insurers to cover treatment of a chronic swelling, often in an arm or leg, known as lymphedema. That’s an abnormal collection of fluid just beneath the skin. It usually develops when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes are removed. If left untreated, it can lead to chronic inflammation, infection and hardening of the skin that can result in further lymph vessel damage and distortion of the shape of affected body parts.

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