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Jan 11, 2024
How workers are dealing with diabetes burnout – and what employers can do to help

Longer working hours and heavier workloads are among the factors that have caused many U.S. employees to experience work burnout. But for the growing number of workers who have been diagnosed with diabetes, the added burden of living with a chronic condition may compound these factors. Diabetes burnout can result in employees neglecting critical self-care, which can have a significant impact on their health, mental well-being, and job performance.

With a better understanding of the causes and symptoms of diabetes burnout, employers can provide the proactive, holistic support that workers need to feel their best. A benefits partner like Cigna Healthcare can help guide the way to an integrated solution that makes accessing such care simple and convenient for employees – and affordable for companies.

Signs, symptoms, and causes of diabetes burnout

The mental health conditions that can accompany burnout are well-documented and have been shown to impact businesses in numerous ways, including absenteeism, presenteeism, turnover, increased medical costs, and diminished productivity.

For those who also must manage their diabetes, it’s helpful to understand some of the key causes of diabetes burnout:

  • Health disparities: It's important for employers to be mindful of all the complex ways their employees may be impacted by social determinants of health and the impact to their health and access to care. Only through an understanding of their employees' stressors can employers continue building a culture of health where employees feel confident accessing the support they need.
  • Treatment challenges: The multitude of daily health decisions and the mental load of having to be constantly aware of their condition can lead to diabetes distress. Treatment challenges – including complications of the disease itself, accessing the right type and amount of medication, financial issues, and access to care – can all combine to prolong this distress and, in time, lead to complete burnout. 

An integrated approach to employee well-being

Addressing diabetes burnout takes an integrated approach, one that provides individualized support at the right time to get ahead of major impacts on employee well-being and work productivity. Organizational and environmental assessments, well-being seminars, and digital resources to support wellness programs are all great components of a comprehensive benefits plan, but more needs to be done to offer the wraparound support that today's employees expect from their employers.

Cigna Healthcare offers integrated medical, pharmacy, and behavioral benefits that come together to improve health outcomes and help lower costs. The connection points between our people and our processes ensure that employees receive a holistic experience.

Health equity

To promote health equity and holistically address the challenges of chronic disease management, Cigna Healthcare uses its proprietary Social Determinants Index (SDI), which analyzes integrated data across 22 measures in the six social domains: economy, education, language, health coverage, infrastructure, and food access. Using the SDI, Cigna Healthcare helps employers identify and prioritize employees who may be at risk. This insight informs and identifies the additional support or resources these employees may need, such as personalized information about disease prevention or how to find a doctor.

Diabetes prevention

The Cigna Healthcare Diabetes Prevention Program focuses on digitally enabled early intervention by partnering with Omada to deliver an online behavioral counseling app for those at risk of developing diabetes. The program combines human interaction and technology to help employees achieve and maintain their health goals.

Mental well-being

For employees dealing with burnout, our Confide Behavioral Health Navigator provides personalized guidance for finding in-network mental health providers and scheduling appointments. It includes a follow-up with every customer who calls or chats with us to confirm their needs have been met.

Financial support

The Patient Assurance Program is for eligible Cigna Healthcare members with chronic conditions such as diabetes who are taking essential medications. It offers out-of-pocket cost caps at $25 for a 30-day supply, providing patients with greater affordability and cost predictability with the goal of improved adherence and better health.

Don't let burnout burn your company

Smart benefits integration can help you understand and support employees navigating stress and diabetes burnout. If you're looking for a proactive approach tailored to your people and your business' needs, contact your Cigna Healthcare representative or broker today.

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