Trying to get my insurance to cover glucose test strips

Using my blood glucose meter to calibrate my pump
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I use a Medtronic 670G Insulin Pump and I use the Guardian 3 CGM that works with that pump. The CGM requires calibrations 3x a day, so at a minimum I use 3 test strips a day. I also test when the pump tells me that I’m high or low. I’ve found it especially useful to test when high, because sometimes the Guardian sensor is less accurate on the high end — the CGM might say 240 mg/dL, but in reality I could be sitting at 290 mg/dL. This makes a difference in how much insulin to give as a correction.

In any case, I’ve been trying to get glucose test strips prescription filled through my insurance, so that I can save money. I’ve been using the Care Touch glucose meter and buying the strips on Amazon at a cost of about $20/100 strips.

The Medtronic 670G Insulin Pump system is supposed to be calibrated with the Contour Next Link Glucose meter, which automatically sends the result to the pump. (Using my Care Touch meter, I have to manually enter the number.) When the insurance company denied coverage, my doctor sent an appeal, but that also got denied.

So, I decided I would go with my insurance company’s preferred glucose meter. I had my doctor send a prescription for test trips at 6 strips/day of the preferred brand. The prescription didn’t get filled. So, I called the mail order pharmacy to find out what the issue was with this prescription for their preferred brand. The customer rep thought it was because it was written as a 100 day prescription, but that it would only be approved as a 90 day. She changed it to 90 days, but the system still said it wasn’t covered.

That day, I ended up talking to 3 different insurance employees, and none of them could figure out why the prescription wasn’t covered. The final person I spoke to told me that I had to buy a completely different brand and that it couldn’t be through the mail. She gave me an NDI number and when I googled it, it was for lancets!!! (I don’t need lancets. I need glucose strips!)

After almost an hour of being on the phone, I gave up. Today, I got an email that they shipped my Contour Next Strips and that my portion of the bill will be $120 (for 600 strips)…. which comes out to $20 per 100. Same price I was paying online. I have no idea why they decided to fill the order… Strange.

So, in the end, I lost an hour of my time and won’t be saving any money, but at least I’ll be able to use the Contour Next Link meter which wirelessly sends the test results to my pump.

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