Plugged In, Booted Up

Feature NNN - Dexcom dT53This is one of those posts I’ve dreaded writing, because it’s so convoluted and I’m not entirely sure what point or lesson I could possibly impart other than the ubiquitous “Don’t do what I did.”

To start, I’m back on the Dexcom CGM.

When we last left our hero (me), my Dexcom transmitter had spontaneously combusted during a sensor change (that’s what I’m claiming since there’s no rhyme or reason to what happened) on Christmas Day and I was going to purchase a transmitter using Dexcom’s one-time Get Out of Jail Free card.

Then I found out that because my husband was leaving his job, we no longer had access to our FSA money and so I needed to wait. I never mentioned this on the blog, and then of course the longer I waited the sillier it seemed to write about it until I was back on the Dexcom.

In March, I called Dexcom to get the process rolling and to find out what the cost would be with insurance. But as it turns out, I never heard from anyone! It wasn’t until I read the blog post on DiabetesMine about issues with Dexcom that I thought perhaps I should follow up. It had been almost a month and my warranty was now more than over. I called them and of course they hadn’t done anything, but I later learned this is protocol. They can’t actually do anything with my insurance until the warranty runs out or the insurance company will just deny the request.


After about a week, it was finally time to call CareCentrix (because we’re on Cigna) to find out what damage would be. The total amount to replace the receiver (which has a one year warranty) and the transmitter (which I had lost) would be nearly $1300.


It was like 10 percent of that last year! What happened?!

Well apparently it all came down to the insurance plan that my husband and I chose back in February when Erik started his job. None of the options were really that great and since I wasn’t working, we decided to go with the plan that had the lowest premiums. With our last plan, the premiums were covered by his company, so we could afford to have better insurance. Not this time. Now our deductible and out-of-pocket expenses were through the roof. I, understandably, was pissed off.

I made about eighteen calls in thirty minutes trying to figure out if there was some kind of work around to this. I really needed to get back on the CGM. I’m training for a half marathon and as it is I don’t feel comfortable going longer than 3 or 4 miles without a CGM. I managed to get the itemized costs for the receiver and transmitter from Carecentrix. The receiver would be roughly $550 and the transmitter was roughly $750. Obviously the thing I need more would be more expensive. I called a nice lady at Dexcom and she told me that unless the receiver wasn’t working anymore, it wasn’t likely that I needed to replace it. It’s really the transmitter that dies because the batteries only last for so long (six months at the minimum, sometimes longer).

I explained to her that initially I was contemplating doing the $199 one-time deal, but since I never heard back from Dexcom about the insurance costs, I wasn’t able to make a decision in time. That $199 deal is only valid inside of the warranty. However, she contacted her supervisors to see if I could get my warranty extended (it had only been a week) and still get a transmitter for $199.

And it worked!

So now I’m sittin’ pretty with my Dexcom transmitter.

Of course, this is only going to work once. You’re only allowed to buy a transmitter for $199 one time, so this won’t work every time I need a transmitter. My hope is that the transmitter will last until early next year, giving us time to re-evaluate our insurance plan during open enrollment to see if there are any changes we can make. My Insulet order was also very high this past quarter. My insulin costs seem decently reasonable (ahahahahaha…), and I haven’t had to purchase any test strips yet because of the Abbott recall.

In any event, I’m all plugged in and booted up with my Dexcom and very, very happy about that. With my increase exercise regime with the half marathon coming up in a couple of months, my blood sugars are becoming more and more unpredictable as I try to readjust my insulin needs. Having the extra help from the Dexom will be a lifesaver!

3 thoughts on “Plugged In, Booted Up

  1. Glad you got it worked out. I’ve been using the Vibe since September 2011 – so more than two and a half years – and I’m only on my third G4 transmitter. The first lasted about a year, the second went a little longer and I just replaced it in February. (Annoyingly it died just two days after the low battery warning though.) I’ve heard plenty of other similar life span stories, so hopefully you should be good. Sadly none of the G4s have lived up to my previous Seven+ which I passed on to a friend and, I think, kept on ticking for over two years!

    I’m curious as to how accurate you find the Dex whilst running though, as I must admit it’s something of a problem for me, especially during any kind of speedwork/intervals and for LSRs when I could most use it! It tends to become increasingly erratic as the distance increases, particularly going over 8 or so miles and I have no idea why!

    • It is true that the Dex isn’t that accurate while running, but I’m almost completely hypo-unaware when I exercise. (Great timing, no?) I’d rather have lagging info than no info!

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