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With new health law, insurers target diabetics

Sarah Luke, 73, of Kennesaw, Ga., got help managing her diabetes through a workshop that she had seen advertised on a flier.
Sarah Luke, 73, of Kennesaw, Ga., got help managing her diabetes through a workshop that she had seen advertised on a flier.David Goldman/Associated Press

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MIAMI — As hundreds of thousands of diabetics get health coverage under the federal law, insurance companies are aggressively targeting this glut of new patients, who are expensive to treat and often lax in taking medications and following their diet.

Insurers are calling diabetics when they don’t pick up prescriptions or miss appointments. They are arranging transportation to get them to the doctor’s office and some are even sending nurses on house calls in an effort to avoid costly complications that will have big impact on their bottom lines.

Before the Affordable Care Act, some diabetics struggled to find insurance because of their preexisting condition. But the new law no longer allows companies to refuse them or charge more, making early intervention even more critical.

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