Diabetic Blood Glucose Monitors and Insurance

By Beca1 Latest Reply 2014-12-16 10:13:54 -0600
Started 2014-12-11 16:19:34 -0600

I recently was prescribed a glucose monitor with strips, picked it up and started checking my blood sugars with it, for me, I like doing this because I can see exactly how my body is responding to foods I consume and then I can adjust many of them or eliminate it all together. Since purchasing this monitor I received notice from Express Scripts that my insurance will no longer cover this expense, OH GREAT! But they will and will send me a New Blood Glucose monitor now. Well, mine is still only 1 month new. I said ok send me another one. They did. Now I have two. Two days ago I received a ph call and another company said they would send me another blood glucose monitor free. OK, what the heck? Has anyone else had this same experience and if so Why?

9 replies

Type1Lou 2014-12-16 09:35:51 -0600 Report

Just got a call this morning from a "Diabetes Supplier" asking me to "confirm the information" on my "recent order" for meter and test strips. When I politely asked the caller "What order was that and when was it placed?", they immediately hung up. Another attempt to con me to accept a meter and strips I neither needed nor wanted but that the supplier would be happy to charge my insurer and/or Medicare. These guys are slick!

Beca1 2014-12-16 10:13:54 -0600 Report

Wow! So far I have not heard from anyone else. Hearing all this is kind of sad in a way to me, makes me feel like having this D is like having a bunch of sharks swarming around you in some kind of feeding frenzy! If these people were trying to inform us about a better deal or saving our costs or if it was coming from a place of caring n kindness. i would appreciate this. Instead it's all about putting money in their pockets, sad, is what this is! It also kind of makes me mad too, not much support here in help motivate n support us into better health n possibly getting off this D cycle they r just assuming we r a sure thing for continued money profits! How sad is that! Personally I don't like to be seen in this way? For those of us who can get better n ditch the D by changing our lifestyle need to get on the ball and do it, stop these naysayers and prove them wrong! We need to get to squeezing thses lemons n make some lemonade!

suecsdy 2014-12-12 07:38:21 -0600 Report

My first that they brought me was an Accucheck. It was a very nice meter,but the strips cost dearly. 30 dollars for 25 strips and that was after my ins. When I signed up here they offered me a Bayer meter. Now I pay 17 dollars for 100 strips per month. Big difference, especially when testing 3x a day. I also had someone call soliciting a new kind of meter that would not require a blood sample. Being new to all this, I decided to stick with what I already had.

GabbyPA 2014-12-12 06:09:08 -0600 Report

It's like when you buy a house, every Tom, Dick and Harry comes along to sell you something. The meters are given away because they have you with the cost of the strips. I skip though all of that and use a meter that I can afford to buy strips for so I don't feel limited by the number that the insurance company might or might not cover. Choose one or two that you like. I always keep a back up in case something goes wrong with my primary one.

You can share them out if you want, but if the strips cost more than the person can deal with it's a waste. It's all about getting into your pocket book.

Type1Lou 2014-12-11 18:47:13 -0600 Report

Some of these calls may not actually be from your insurer but from providers of diabetes supplies hoping to send you a free meter so they can bill your insurer and get you to buy test strips from them. When I was with Express Scripts earlier this year, I know that they only covered/reimbursed for the One Touch test strips. When I became eligible for Medicare and opted for the Humana Medicare Advantage PPO, I got the One Touch test strips at no cost while any others were subject to a 20% co-pay on my part. There's no doubt in my mind that both Express Scropts nd Humana have made a deal with One Touch to get the strips at a lower cost. When I get those calls saying I'm eligible to get a free meter, I usually tell them I neither need one nor want one (I have 3 meters now: 2 One Touch: an Ultralink and a Mini and one Bayer Contour Next Link Meter. The link meters communicate directly with my insulin pump.)
I shudder to think how many "free" meters are sent to lie unused in drawers…and are they truly "free"?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-12-11 18:13:19 -0600 Report

I have several meters that were mailed to me free of charge. I always keep two. I give the rest to people who needs them. It is as James said salesmen convince insurance companies that they have the best meter on the market. So the insurance company changes to the new model and stop insuring the other meters.

I don't complain, I give them away. I don't care what the insurance company does as long as they cover my medical care. I now have a free blood pressure monitor and they wanted to send me an A1C meter. I don't turn them down because someone less fortunate can always use them.

I worked for a non profit and we had a health disparity outreach program. a meter company sent her 100 meters with a bottle of 100 test strips with each meter and lancets and lancing devices to give away. She gave me my first meter. I never look a gift horse in the mouth when it comes from an insurance company.

jayabee52 2014-12-11 16:47:39 -0600 Report

Howdy Beca
Regarding the insurance: insurance companies sometimes change their mind about meters because some salesman convinces the right person in the company that their glucometer is better than the competitors. The ins co then gives the meter free or at a reduced cost. The benefit to the maker of the meters and strips is strip sales, and that adds up to a lot over time. Same thing with the other company which offered you the free meter. Most stips are not interchangable with other meters which means you need to buy new strips.

The company doing the cold call probably bought a list of folks who have diabetes and might be interested in diabetes supplies like meters. If I were you, I'd stick with the glucometer from your ins. co. as they often pay for the cost of the strips, less a copay. Of course if you exceed the amount of strips for testing your BG (usually easy to do because number of strips used is set artificially low by the company. The thing you could do in such a case is to ask your Dr to write a Rx for enough strips to last the month of how many tests you take per day. Or you could pay out of pocket for those extra test strips. (Usually you can find deals on strips online at places like American Diabetes Wholesale ~ http://www.adwdiabetes.com/ — the one I use.)

Praying for improving health for us all


Type1Lou 2014-12-11 18:51:22 -0600 Report

James, I've been able to get enough strips to allow for the 8 tests per day that I use by having my doctor write the prescription as such and by being persistent with my insurers. I do understand that it may be easier for us Type 1's to get exceptions to the test strip limit than it is for Type 2's, which I think is both unfortunate and short-sighted since more testing usually leads to better control overall…better control, in turn, means fewer costly complications down the road.

Beca1 2014-12-12 05:46:06 -0600 Report

Thanks everyone for your speedy response! Being a newbie can get confusing when this happens and we r dealing with so much at once.
It is true when you first start checking your glucose levels you use more strips. I think it is important to check before and after each meal so
I know just how certain foods are affecting my blood sugars. It is true better checking better control better health! Thats the whole idea. So with your help I am going to ask my Dr to prescribe more strips for the next few months for me. Thanks again everyone!