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poofandmook's avatar

Does anyone know of a glucometer that uses test strips that aren't insanely expensive?

Asked by poofandmook (17272points) May 10th, 2010

Or are pretty much any test strips going to bleed the wallet?

Does a doctor need to write some kind of prescription or give a definitive diagnosis of diabetes for insurance to cover these things?

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17 Answers

Kayak8's avatar

Typically, docs will write scripts for all related diabetes supplies if that is your diagnosis (e.g., lancets, test strips, glucometer, etc.) and these are often billable to your insurance. Talk to your pharmacist about what kind of deals are available with the test strips for different glucometers. I buy this stuff for several thousand clients and we are always able to select glucometers that have some deal or other on the test strips (these deals typically last about a year).

If you have NOT been diagnosed with diabetes and want to avoid a pre-existing condition clause on an insurance policy before the President’s new health care program rolls out, you are probably on your own for the test strips but still might be able to negotiate a deal of some sort by talking to some area pharmacists and seeing what they have available.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I agree with @Kayak8. Also, if you are going through your doctor for this, see if they have a glucometer and strips. The office I work out often gets free glucometers to give to patients and it comes with some test strips and lancets. Then we write a prescription for more lancets and test strips.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

The cheapest I know of are the drugstore brands,not the name brands.

poofandmook's avatar

I’ve not been diagnosed with diabetes, but with hypoglycemia. Diabetes runs rampant in my father’s side of the family—all my grandfather’s siblings had it, my grandfather got it a few years before he passed away, and various cousins on that side have it, as well as my dad. He was diagnosed around my age. My doc said there’s no evidence of diabetes at all, but because of my family history, I would like to keep an eye on my glucose levels. Does hypoglycemia count as far as insurance carriers are concerned? Or only diabetes?

Didn’t even think of all this stuff until after I got off the phone with my doc, and I don’t want to waste his or my time if insurance doesn’t recognize hypoglycemia.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Each insurance company has different coverages. The best thing to do is call your insurance company and ask them if they will cover a glucometer and testing supplies with a diagnosis of hypoglycemia. They may ask you for a diagnosis code (which is an ICD-9 code). There are a few different ICD-9 codes for hypoglycemia (251.1, 251.2, 271, 790.2, V65.3, and probably a few others I missed), so you may want to call your doctor’s office first to ask which code would apply to you.

poofandmook's avatar

Thanks… I hate dealing with insurance companies. And so much has gone haywire with my body in the last couple of months that I don’t know what to do with all of it :P

Seaofclouds's avatar

I hate dealing with insurance companies too. Unfortunately, it’s what I do during at least half of my day at work.

poofandmook's avatar

Would you like to deal with mine? LOL

Seaofclouds's avatar

Umm…no thanks. :) You might be able to check your coverage online if you have any kind of online access. Most insurance companies have a list of covered expenses online now.

Kayak8's avatar

@Seaofclouds is totally correct on everything above (including the ICD-9 codes).

One other thought I had was that many insurance companies have a nurse case manager you can call and with whom you can talk things through. They often know which products your specific insurance will support and different information (even stuff for managing hypoglycemia) that is all available to you from your insurance company. I figure they rob us (and our employers) so we might as well take them up on the free services.

gemiwing's avatar

If you do end up having to pay out of pocket then the cheapest I’ve found is Walmart’s brand. 7 for the glucometer and about 20.00 for fifty strips- which is insanely good. Plus it offers forearm testing which I usually do, unless a low sugar is the suspect.

ReliOn monitor
ReliOn strips

jazmina88's avatar

that is cheap…..............!!!!!!

poofandmook's avatar

@gemiwing: Whoa.. that is great. You live in the south though. I have a feeling here in Jersey it would be considerably higher. Everything is more expensive here. You do forearm testing? Interesting. I always preferred the finger stick. My dad does too.

gemiwing's avatar

@poofandmook Walmart’s prices tend to be nation-wide. The prices are the same on their website too so hopefully they’d be the same for you. I hate being pricked so the forearm hurts tons less for me- plus no numbed fingertips!

poofandmook's avatar

@gemiwing: you don’t get a numb fingertip if you stick your finger on the side and it doesn’t hurt nearly as much ;)

gemiwing's avatar

@poofandmook I’m a freak, it still hurts me a lot there. Moreso sometimes because I don’t have calouses built up on the side. Team Forearm forevah! ;)

poofandmook's avatar

@gemiwing: Fingersticks of the World Unite! xD

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