Cost of G6 Sensors

I recently placed an order for G6 sensors and was gobstruck when told how much my share of the cost would be. My distributor said one 3-pack of sensors is about $1900.00. With my small deductible of $150 and my insurer paying for 80%, my cost for 3x3-packs (90 day supply) is over $1100.00. My first order this time last year (exact same coverage and same order) cost me under $700.00 out of pocket. This means that either Dexcom or my distributor has raised the price significantly. Now I have an iPhone so I can’t even use xdrip to extend the life of each sensor. Any suggestions? Anyone else feeling this pain?

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$1900 sounds like a 3-month supply, not a 1-month supply. I’d double check with the distributor to see if the information you received is inaccurate. If $1900 is indeed the 1-month price from that distributor, I’d switch to a different distributor.

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You can still do a restart, but will require physically removing the transmitter, wait 20-30 minutes, then put transmitter back on existing sensor. You can then use iPhone to start sensor as though it was a new one. There are several discussions about this.

I agree you were likely charged 90 day supply. So they messed up with shipment or billing. Check shipping document if there was one.

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I agree that doesn’t sound right. I bought 4 sensors (with no insurance)in December to use the remainder of my HSA and those 4 sensors were just under$500.00.

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I never actually received or paid for the sensors as I was challenging their estimated costs and for some reason they subsequently cancelled the order. So I’ll have to start all over again next week. Hopefully I’ll get a better price next week.

The retail cash price for a one month supply of sensors directly from Dexcom is $350. A single transmitter is $285. Costco is the cheapest cash price around for transmitters, at $150 for the G6.

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Which distributor would that be :slight_smile: There are lots of comments on this list about that distributor, whichever one it is. If you get your supplies as a pharmacy benefit through a pharmacy like Walmart the base cost is $300 for each transmitter and the sensors were $400 for 3 (a one month supply) in 2019 and are probably $500 now (I haven’t filled yet this year).

Those are the costs through insurance where you (or I) pay everything.

But do you really care:

So what? In three months time you will have paid $5700 and then, in month four, you pay at absolute most $700, then you pay absolutely nothing for anything the whole rest of the year.

I think we are obsessing about this and I think we are being unreasonable. The limits on the maximum we have to pay each year are clear, unequivocal and part of the law of this country; $6900 this year, or less.

As a group; T1Ds, we need to run with this. Pretending that the ball isn’t the shape we want isn’t going to win us anything. It’s $6900 per year to be a T1D. I don’t think we should give a major hydraulic feature how we pay it.

$449 retail - with the exceptions noted of buying directly from Dexcom or Costco.

We also need to quit generalizing. My cost to be a T1D per year is $2000, which I easily hit by end of February.

I wouldn’t pay $1900 for 1 month. I’d buy them retail for $349 and submit to insurance for reimbursement. The problem is letting the distributor get away with overcharging - which they are even if they charged 3 months worth at full retail. It is insurance abuse, and why we end up paying more out of pocket, and more for prescriptions, every year. I believe this is what we need to stand up against.

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Well, yes, I was talking about the maximum anyone in the US pays in addition to the insurance they buy. If someone buys the cheapest plan available the maximum extra cost for healthcare is $6,900. This is not just diabetes supplies, it includes everything you pay apart from the insurance premium in the whole year. Yes, I wasn’t considering Medicaid (which typically has lower limits).

True sometimes plans have lower limits. My point is that the maximum limit is such that the “retail” full cost of the G6 - $450 retail times 12 plus $300 per transmitter times 4 is $6600 per year, without any insulin ($300 for 10ml) test strips and so on. So:

There is a point to doing this if you can’t afford the initial hit because of low income. I typically hit the max in the first three months; so that is $6000 before the end of March then nothing for the rest of the year. However if someone can afford to cover the costs before the insurance starts paying 100% of everything what is the point of minimizing it? After all, most of that $1900 for a box of sensors goes straight back to the insurance company, if they want to do business that way, fine.

This is what I disagree with. By not buying them there, and getting them elsewhere, hopefully it would send a message. But then again, I choose to buy mine overseas, where the cost is much, much less. I just won’t do business with unscrupulous… medical distributors, car dealers, or anyone else.

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I just discovered that I did fill an order on February 4, 2020. The cost is actually $360.53 (for a single box). This explains @funk’s price; he has a 20% “copay” so the cost has to be at least $1800; 20% of $1800 is $360. In fact he ends up paying $380; the extra $20 goes to the PBM who supplies the sensors.

Walmart state that the “cash” price of a box is $416.41, about 15% more than what someone would pay with insurance. That’s seems fairly typical of pharmacy pricing; make some extra money off the cash customers.

CostCo still wins though; $318. The same article quotes $349 for direct supply from Dexcom. The full list of CostCo prices are here:

https://www.costco.com/pharmacy/member-prescription-program-savings-chart.html?fbclid=IwAR3LVeZ9cs6NWmEMA5cqjvJ9yuZCRNLtv9uCiTfYR-NKOyJ9LJMkMi38YAU

The healthline.com article suggests that it isn’t necessary to lie about having insurance, but presumably CostCo can’t give these prices if they do bill the insurance. CostCo are the same price for GM insulin as my insurance ($300 for a 10mL vial, $450 for 15mL in pens; $30/mL).

The cost is the big reason I went with Abbott Libre. I’m now on Medicare and at first my supplement insurer was charging $150 for three month of sensor supplies. Then my sister (also a T1) said the same insurer in NC was free! When I called my insurer I was advised to enter a dispute since the whole thing was listed as a Diabetic Durable claim that the government says was free under Part B. Sure enough, it was, the insurer now has it completely covered at no charge for the sensors. Is it any wonder I love this?