Nutrition Resources and Diabetes Management

Nutrition Resources

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (“Excellus BCBS”)

The Syracuse University health plan provides eligible employees and their covered dependents with nutritional counseling and nutritional therapy. For questions on this benefit or more information, please contact the Excellus BCBS dedicated customer care team at 800.493.0318 (TTY: 800.662.1220) Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. EST. 

The health plan will cover wellness nutritional counseling, with no underlying chronic condition requirement.  Services must be rendered by a physician, certified nutritionist, or certified  or registered dietician. If you see an in-network provider, there is no copay for these visits, with a maximum of 26 visits per covered person per calendar year. Health Care Reform guidelines will apply.

The plan will cover up to 8 visits per calendar year for nutritional therapy with a registered or certified dietician.  Your cost for each visit is determined by your plan option, SUBlue, SUOrange or SUPro.

Weight loss surgery is covered for people with a diagnosis of morbid obesity, subject to medical guidelines.


Carebridge offers personalized life coaching that can support you through your weight loss journey. The benefit can be used to set goals such as mindful eating and developing an exercise routine.

Wellness Initiative Core Programming

A visual metaphor of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, representing transformation and freedomLooking for a fun, yet easy way to adopt new healthy lifestyle habits? Kelly’s Choice Transformation Program is an 18-week science-based, group nutrition education program that will guide you to successful weight loss and management. Participants will benefit from a dietitian-led program with the support of a group.

Kelly’s Choice Transformation Program is designed to teach you how to build a well-balanced plate, which protein sources to choose from, how to include more whole grains, eat more fruits and vegetables, meal planning, how to incorporate more healthy fats and much more!

An array of informative handouts will be emailed to you each week to help guide and empower you throughout the journey. These handouts are intended for print purposes only. If you need accommodations to access or print the documents, please email the wellness team. With weight management being a goal of the program, participants will have weight checks conducted at the in-person sessions by the Kelly’s Choice team.

The spring session is underway.

Graphic: Am I Hungry? logoAIH is a non-diet, weight-neutral approach that empowers individuals to take charge of their decisions about eating.  AIH is a mindful eating program that guides participants to reconnect with their physical signals to guide when, what, and how much to eat without restrictive diet rules and recognize and cope with their triggers for overeating. The focus is to help individuals break out of emotional eating cycles using practical, doable strategies.

The Am I Hungry® Mindful Eating Program is a six-week commitment that includes:

  • weekly reading of chapters in Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat/completion of recommended workbook pages*
  • weekly viewing of recordings by the wellness team
  • five weekly 45-minute virtual sessions to discuss the reading and  share how it’s going
  • one in-person celebration at the end of the five weeks

Fall program dates are TBD.

Diabetes Resources

Syracuse University’s health plans, SUBlue, SUOrange and SUPro, provide support for people with newly diagnosed diabetes, as well those who have been managing this condition for many years.

If you have been newly diagnosed with diabetes, or if your physician has diagnosed a significant change in your symptoms or your condition, you can receive education about self-management techniques and diet instruction.  These educational services can be provided by your physician or nurse practitioner during a regular office visit, or by a certified diabetes educator, nutritionist or registered dietician.  Your cost for each visit is determined by the plan you are enrolled in, SUBlue, SUOrange or SUPro.

Coverage is available through both the medical benefit, administered by Excellus BCBS, and the prescription drug benefit, administered by Optum Rx.  You may want to use benefits under each option to secure the supplies and equipment you need to manage your diabetes at the lowest out-of-pocket cost.

  • Medical benefit: Diabetic supplies and equipment such as insulin pumps, glucose meters (including continuous blood glucose monitor transmitters), test strips and syringes are covered when purchased from a network provider of durable medical equipment (limited coverage may be available for out-of-network providers).

Insulin pumps and supplies, including continual glucose monitors, require prior approval through Excellus BCBS – this must be completed by your provider.

  • Prescription drug benefit: Insulin, insulin pumps and related supplies, non-insulin diabetic medications (e.g., metformin), Glucagon, blood glucose meters, diabetic supplies (lancets, lancing devices, alcohol swabs, test strips), insulin syringes and injecting devices (pens) are covered subject to the formulary listing of preferred drugs.  The formulary currently covers OneTouch® products at Tier 2 (preferred); other brands are excluded.
    • Free OneTouch glucose meter: To order a OneTouch system at no charge, visit and input order code 594PRX100, or call 866-355-9962.

Routine foot care is covered only for patients with severe systemic disorders.  Foot orthotics are covered if medically necessary. Services or supplies for orthopedic shoes or shoe inserts are not covered.

Routine eye exams, as well as diabetic eye exams, are covered through the medical plan at the member cost share for your plan option. If you are enrolled in the VSP vision care plan, coverage is available for exams and prescription lenses (glasses or contacts), with additional benefits through the Diabetic Eyecare Plus Program.  Ask your participating VSP provider to evaluate whether these benefits are appropriate for your ophthalmological condition.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this website is accurate. However, benefits are governed by legal documents (which, in certain circumstances, may include insurance contracts). If there is any difference between the information in this website and the official documents, the official documents will control. As is the case with all of Syracuse University’s employee benefit plans, the University reserves the right to modify or terminate these benefits at any time.