As I mentioned last week, I tragically lost my Dexcom transmitter on Christmas Eve (and for the second time in a year). I’m not sure why I so easily lost the Dexcom transmitter when I never once lost my Medtronic transmitter, but that’s the way it goes.
I knew from my prior loss that Dexcom offers a one time replacement for $199 that is a cash payment, which means it doesn’t go through insurance company. At the time we couldn’t afford it because we had depleted our FSA account just getting on the Dexcom in the first place. I waited until my warranty ran up before going through the process of getting a new transmitter through Cigna. This time I’m much more keen on getting back on the Dexcom as soon as possible, so we waited until after January 1st, when our FSA was activated with more pre-tax money.Like many of you, I’ve become terribly reliant on the little bugger. I feel completely helpless and clueless as to how to manage my diabetes without it. The rises and falls in my blood sugar seem mysterious and unknowable. I can’t even big to figure out how to get myself under better control without my Dexcom! I have been hitting 300 mg/dl so many times lately because I simply don’t realize where my blood sugar is until I start feeling sick from the highs. Erik has also seen how wonderful my blood sugars were in November and December because I could catch underboluses so much faster and I could more readily adjust my basal rates.
Yesterday I called Dexcom and put in an order for a new transmitter, as I’m just desperate to get it back. The lovely Dexcom customer rep asked me what happened to my transmitter, and I told her the pathetic story of how I lost it in my apartment during a set change. She mentioned that if I found my transmitter, I had 30 days to return the new one! Which is awesome because we will be clearing out the entire apartment very soon, so if I do happen to find the transmitter in the move or unpacking, I will be able to return the transmitter and get my money back!
I also brought up a theory that I had discussed with a few Minnesota bloggers when I was visiting a couple weeks ago. We were wondering if it would be possible to get a new transmitter after the 6 month warranty is up (for me, this would be March) but not actually use it, and instead use it as a back-up if and when my transmitter either disappears again or dies. According to the Dexcom rep, most transmitters actually last up to a year, but the warranty is only for 6 months, which means insurance companies should pay for 2 a year, even if you only actually need one!
I floated the idea of getting the transmitter from our new insurance company when my husband starts working, but she said that it was insurance dependent. An entirely different insurance company might be willing to pay for a new transmitter before the 6 month warranty is up, but since our current insurance and our new insurance is both Cigna, they might be less inclined to pay for it until the warranty is up.
You might be wondering why I don’t just wait until I start our new insurance policy to find out if they’ll pay for it, rather than shelling out $199. Good question! Well, as I said, I have a tendency to lose these little suckers, so I’m keen on getting a back-up to keep from going through this again. The one I’m paying for now will be my primary transmitter. Then, as soon as possible, I’m going to request that my insurance company pays for a new one, which will be my back-up. The Dexcom rep told me that while the warranty starts the day the transmitter ships out, the battery life doesn’t start ticking until you actually open it and use it.
My plan is to continue ordering a Dexcom transmitter every 6 months when the warranty runs out, and by paying for one transmitter out of pocket, I’ll be one step ahead of the game. In the event I lose another or when a transmitter eventually dies, I won’t need to worry about being off the Dexcom while my insurance company approves a new transmitter. Especially as I prepare for pregnancy, having access to the Dexcom is crucial to my health and I believe it worth the expense. Of course, this is money coming from our FSA account, and not from our actual checking account so that helps to soften the blow. If I do find my transmitter in the move, I will send this one back. Since both are open, the battery life is draining on both and so it doesn’t make sense to have two activated transmitters at the same time. This really only works if you have one transmitter “waiting in the wings.”