Confession time here: I am borderline innumerate. Meaning even though I made it through high school calculus with a (barely) B-, I am very bad with numbers. Which is very bad for diabetes management. But that’s a whole other story.
What I’m getting at today is that I hadn’t actually done the math on my beloved new continuous glucose monitor (CGM) until now, and attempting to add up my costs thus far, I do not like what I see. Not even counting the initial investment in the CGM unit itself:
- Three 5-packs of sensors at $175 each ($35 per sensor) = $525
- Three 100-count vials of test strips for the OneTouch meter (necessary for using the DexCom), purchased on eBay for an average of .57 cents each = $171
- Seven 10-packs packs of DexCom shower patches (yeah, using about 2/day in this heat) at $17 each including S&H = $119
Now if I’m not all stupid, that’s $815 in supplies just since the end of June.
No, I have not used up all those sensors yet! And yes, I know that you can wear them longer than 3 days. I haven’t managed to wear one longer than 2 rounds (6 days), however, since all the sun and sand has made the adhesive peel off to the point of no return.
Anyway, lots of DexCom mentions on my credit card bill. And no answer yet from Blue Shield, where I submitted a claim along with my Letter of Medical Necessity some 10 days ago. Just a blink of the eye for an HMO. Probably will be another 8 weeks before I even hear from them.
My telephone inquiry was acknowledged with the pat answer that I am covered for “diabetes testing supplies” — but this tells me nothing, since the DexCom will likely be viewed as something akin to űber-testing-supplies: fancy extras that overlap with the traditional and less costly stuff my insurance is already paying for. In other words, I doubt they’re going to accept the claim.
I was surprised to see that Anna Q over at Life with a Spouse believes they are saving money by using the Dex. It seems it’s the test strips making the difference. Her husband Jack was using 14 strips/day at .90 cents each before, and only about 2/day now. I’m definitely using more, since my Dex seems HUNGRY for calibration numbers, and after a few initial missteps, I’m careful about checking with a fingerstick before making any dosing moves.
So here’s my problem: having just done battle with my insurance, prior to making the leap to CGM, in order to obtain abundant supplies of FreeStyle test strips, I am now up the creek without a strip source, so to speak. Suddenly I need quantities of the LifeScan strips instead, and I’m 100% sure the insurance won’t go for that. Not now, anyway.
Glancing down just now at another 107 reading on the CGM. Oh joy! And trying not to think where else the $815 might have gone.