Blood Sugar (glucose) Test Strips
How often is it covered? Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers some diabetic test supplies, including blood sugar test strips as durable medical equipment (DME). Who's eligible? All people with Part B who have diabetes are covered. Your costs in Original Medicare If your supplier accepts assignment, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies. Medicare pays for different kinds of DME in different ways. Depending on the type of equipment: You may need to rent the equipment. You may need to buy the equipment. You may be able to choose whether to rent or buy the equipment. Medicare will only cover your DME if your doctors and DME suppliers are enrolled in Medicare. Doctors and suppliers have to meet strict standards to enroll and stay enrolled in Medicare. If your doctors or suppliers aren’t enrolled, Medicare won’t pay the claims submitted by them. It’s also important to ask your suppliers if they participate in Medicare before you get DME. If suppliers are participating suppliers, they must accept assignment. If suppliers are enrolled in Medicare but aren’t “participating,” they may choose not to accept assignment. If suppliers don't accept assignment, there’s no limit on the amount they can charge you. Competitive Bidding Program If you live in or visit certain areas, you may be affected by Medicare's Competitive Bidding Program. In most cases, Medicare will only help pay for these equipment and supplies if they're provided by contract suppliers when both of these apply: Contract suppliers can't charge you more than the 20% coinsurance and any unmet yearly deductible for any equipment or supplies included in the Competitive Bidding Program. You may need to use specific suppliers for some types of diabetes testing sup Continue reading >>
Where To Buy Cheap Diabetic Test Strips?
For people with diabetes, costs can add up. Items like test strips can put a dent in your budget. Some people are even tempted to skip buying these to save money. It’s a very bad idea to try to save money by skipping your test strips. Checking your blood sugar regularly allows you to manage your diabetes. This can prevent severe health problems down the road. Those health problems will cost you a lot of money (even if you have insurance). They will also cause you a lot of suffering. It’s very important to take care of your diabetes. Instead of skipping the test strips, you can find cheaper ways to get the supplies you need to take care of yourself. One easy way is to switch to using a generic meter and strips. Pharmacies like Walgreen’s, CVS, and Walmart offer their own meters and strips for a far cheaper price. These work just as well as brand-name devices. In fact, some generic strips may even work better than brand-name strips. The strips end up costing more than the meter over the long run. That means you should choose the meter with the cheapest strips, instead of choosing the cheapest meter. It may even pay off to buy a new meter, if it means you can switch to cheaper strips. If you’re paying too much for strips and choose to use a new meter, you can always sell your diabetic test strips for cash as long as you paid in full for them. Your local office of the American Diabetes Association is a good resource for finding cheap places to buy test strips. Check this link to find your local office, then call them or visit in person. If you have insurance, check which strips are covered before you buy. Health insurance might only cover brand-name strips. That could mean that the brand-name strips actually end up being cheaper than the generic ones, because you on Continue reading >>
Comparing The Cost Of Diabetes Test Strips At Major Retailers
Where’s the best place to buy blood glucose monitor test strips over-the-counter? And which test strips are the most affordable? We took a look at the top blood sugar test strip costs at a few of the major retailers to see what the best deals are. Hands down, the ReliOn brand of test strips is the most affordable if you’re paying for test strips out-of-pockt at a meager 18 cents per strip (in a 50 count box) at Walmart and 35 cents (in a 50 count box) if you buy on Amazon. However, it’s only available at Walmart (and Amazon), so that can make it difficult if there isn’t a Walmart in your area. The next most affordable test strip is the Bayer Contour Next, which came it between 77 cents and 86 cents per strip in their 50 count boxes if you buy them at a brick-and-mortar store, or 24 cents per strip on Amazon. Lifescan’s One Touch Ultra Blue, Roche’s Accuchek Aviva, and Abbott’s Freestyle Lite came in at well over a dollar a strip at all the major pharmacy retailers, but all of them in under a dollar a strip if you buy on Amazon. Roche’s Accuchek Aviva came in as the most expensive test strip at every retailer, except Amazon, where it came in a whole 5 cents cheaper than One Touch Ultra Blue. Amazon is for the most part the most affordable place to buy your test strips out-of-pocket, unless you’re buying Walmart’s ReliOn test strips. In that case, you’re better off just driving to Walmart. Here’s the full breakdown: Walmart One Touch Ultra Blue – 50 count: $68.79 / $1.37 per strip Freestyle Lite – 50 count: $81.64 / $1.63 per strip Bayer Contour Next – 50 count: $38.88 / $.77 per strip ReliOn Prime – 50 count: $9.00 / $.18 per strip AccuChek Aviva Plus – 50 count: $82.27 / $1.64 per strip Walgreens One Touch Ultra Blue – 50 count: $79.9 Continue reading >>
Best Cheap Blood Glucose Meters
Cheap blood glucose meters are still accurate and consistent It may be tempting to judge a blood glucose meter solely by its initial cost. But given that someone testing their glucose levels four times a day can blow through more than 100 test strips in a month, a glucose meter's true cost is best measured by how much you spend on test strips over time. In fact, some major manufacturers give away their meters for free because they recoup their losses on sales of test strips. Still, the meters with the lowest yearly operating cost also tend to cost very little themselves. Take our best-reviewed cheap glucose meter, the Bayer Contour Next (Est. $15). It's one of the few truly inexpensive meters that not only makes it into clinical trials but also excels: In a study published in 2014 in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, researchers found that the Bayer Contour Next outperformed a professional glucose monitor designed for point-of-care testing. This small, inexpensive glucose meter also receives Excellent scores for accuracy from a leading consumer research organization, alongside Very Good scores for repeatability and convenience. User reviews on the Bayer Contour Next tend to be very short and to the point; at this price, users just want a blood glucose meter that does its job. But they also love not having to code the meter when they open a new vial of test strips, being able to collect blood from almost any angle, and having the option to add more blood to the test strip if there wasn't enough the first time. The Bayer Contour Next requires a 0.6 microliter blood sample and allows you to use your palm as an alternate testing site. Other popular features -- and unusual finds on a glucose meter in this price range -- include the ability to add notes to store Continue reading >>
Top 10 Popular Blood Glucose Meters Put To The Test
With countless blood glucose meters on the market, how do you know which one to choose? Do you choose the most expensive one; it must work the best if it costs the most, right? Or are you a techie looking for a Bluetooth meter that syncs to your smartphone? Perhaps, you’re concerned with the cost and you’re looking for the most affordable meter. Top 10 Glucose Meters We’ve taken the time to test the ten most popular blood glucose meters. Take a look to find the meter that’s the best fit for you. Winner and our favorite meter is One Touch Ultra 2. OneTouch Ultra 2 Accu-Chek Aviva Connect Walmart ReliON Confirm OneTouch Verio Abbott FreeStyle Lite Walgreens True2Go Contour Next EZ Livongo Health In Touch Meter Nova Max Plus Sanofi iBGStar Our Pick After a careful review of the top glucose meters on the market, our #1 recommendation is the One Touch Ultra 2. It’s simply one of the best in terms of functionality and price. Click here to learn more. (Helpful Tip: Although you can get one from your local pharmacy, you’ll find it cheaper on Amazon. Click here to get yours.) Accu-Chek Aviva Connect The Accu-Chek Aviva Connect gets its name from the Bluetooth connection that syncs to the user’s smartphone. The Connect utilizes an app to keep track of both short-term and long-term readings on a person’s smartphone. The user can also view their trends via bar graphs and maps on the app. The Accu-Chek Aviva Connect will cost you $29.99 and $1.75 for a single test strip. One con to this meter is that the test strips are one of the highest priced strips on the market. However, they are readily available in almost all drug stores and pharmacies. Accu-Chek also offers a supplemental program called Preferred Savings which can reduce most test-strip co-pays to $15-$45. Ot Continue reading >>
Save Money On Blood Glucose Test Strips
Testing your blood sugar regularly is the key to good diabetes control, but testing can get expensive. Ease the stress of managing your diabetes with these practical tips that can stretch your dollars while keeping you on track. Shop around, but steer clear of suspect sources. Online resources such as eBay and Craigslist sometimes offer tough-to-beat prices from people reselling test strips. "I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about six months ago. I bought my meter and strips at a drugstore right after but was shocked when the test strips cost $49.99 for a box of 50! Once those ran out, I got on eBay and looked for the exact same brand. I found them easily and have now bought two shipments of the same name-brand strips for just over $25, which includes shipping. It's a no-brainer to save $25," says Rich Mullikin of Galveston, Texas. However, most experts advise against buying test strips online because it's a gamble. In most cases, it's hard to know where the strips came from, how they were transported and stored, and whether the strips are defective or expired, says Eileen Wood, R.Ph., vice president of pharmacy services for Capital District Physicians' Health Plan in Albany, New York. Counterfeit strips that produce highly erratic results have even been found. On eBay, some sellers list an expiration date -- but not all do -- and some don't allow returns. "These practices are questionable," Wood says. "I'd feel more comfortable getting test strips from a pharmacy because it has to prove where they got the products, and there is oversight from state and federal licensing authorities." Test strip makers and distributors are required to register with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but private sellers are not. Go off-brand. Most off-brand strips are as accurate Continue reading >>
Why Do Test Strips Cost So Much? (part 2)
Last week I was busy being blown away by the amazing technology of glucose test strips. But back to reality. Why do these things cost so much? Why do prices vary by 600% or more? From what I can tell on Consumer Reports, customer reviews, articles like this one in Diabetes Forecast, and comments on diabetes blogs, it seems like most meters and strips have pretty similar quality. So how do you choose? Meters have a variety of features. Some have backlights, which is nice in the dark. Some speak to you, which helps people with poor vision. Some can store more results in memory. Some hook to your computer or smart phone with a cable to upload results; others connect with wireless; others don’t have that function. Some create graphs for you of various types. Meters are temperature sensitive. Some can function at higher temperatures; others can work at lower temperatures. Some burn through batteries faster than others. Some seem to need a little more blood than others to get a reading. Diabetes Forecast says meters are so similar that some people just buy the cheapest one, and it works for them. But most meters are cheap. The cost comes in the strips. So the best meter might be the one with the most affordable strips. When it comes to strip cost, the mega-retailers like Walmart, Walgreens, and Kroger have an advantage. And the quality seems comparable. One user commented that Strips for [Walmart Prime] run $9.00 per fifty, a $60 cost reduction from my Accu-Chek strips which are $69 at Costco. On a typical reading of 180 the meters will be maybe two points different. Pretty darn close. But that cost advantage only holds if you don’t have insurance. A lot of insurers will pay for Accu-Chek, OneTouch, or some more expensive strips, but won’t pay for a Walmart Prime or Wal Continue reading >>
When Do You Need A Prescription For Diabetic Test Strips?
When Do You Need A Prescription for Diabetic Test Strips? Whether or not you need a prescription to purchase diabetic test strips depends on one thing. Read this article to find out how it all works. If you’re one of the 29 million Americans living with diabetes, you likely have a lot of questions about how to get the medication you need. We’re sure you also have questions about how you can keep the costs of supplies, test strips, lancets, and hospital visits down. Even if you’re working out and taking care of yourself, you may feel like you can’t do much to fight back against the rising costs of life with diabetes. In this post, we’ll talk about whether or not you need a prescription to get diabetic test strips. We’ll also talk about how the cost of diabetes is different for the insured and the uninsured diabetes patient. No matter what your coverage is like, it’s always a smart idea to look for bargains, ways to save, and ways to make back some of the money you’ve spent on diabetic test strips. Read this post to learn how to save better. The Costs Of Diabetes: Insured vs. Uninsured There’s no getting around it: life with diabetes is costly. In fact, recent figures show that the average yearly cost for one person living with diabetes is about $13,700. Unfortunately, that same study showed that those without health insurance who are living with a diabetes diagnosis get 68% fewer prescriptions, and 79% fewer doctor visits, than those that are insured. Though most states have made sure insurance companies are required to cover medical costs and supplies, you still have to do a good amount of work to get certain things covered by your plan. You may even have to write them letters just to make back a small portion of what you spend on supplies like diabeti Continue reading >>
Diabetes Test Strips: $87.99 Or $12.99, Or $9 For 50. Cheaper Without Insurance? Quite Possibly.
Cheaper to get them online than through the pharmacy with my insurance was the comment from one of the early contributors, who spent $25 for a box of 50 strips. Another also spent $25 for a box of 50 strips. The comment: I can get the test strips cheaper, out of pocket at Costco and Walmart if I buy 100. My father has Kaiser Advantage gets the same strips (3 month supply) for free. This is not even a 30 day supply, I need 60 (90 right now) normally. Updates:From the Diabetes Social Media tweetchatOctober 1, from @T1Runner: 12.99 for 50! Ihealth Iphone meter #DSMA From comments on our partner KPCCs web site : This: I am fortunate that my current insurance covers my test strips when I have to change to Covered California I hope that they will do the same.. I wanted to bring up a point relative to the cost of the strips. Often I think that people do not test as often as they should because the strips are too expensive. Check with your doctor to see if you can get them through mail order (or another pathway) to minimize the cost. And this: Walmart sells the Relion Prime meter for $16.24 and the strips are $9.00 per 50. That is the best pricing I have found. And just so people know, all of the different brands of meters are required to work within set specifications. My Relion meter is just as good as any of the higher priced meters. I am a diabetic (Type 1) and have had to self pay for the past 9 years. Diabetes is not cheap. These were early comments from our #PriceCheck project, crowdsourcing prices with our partners at KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC/Southern California Public Radio in Los Angeles, with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Neither community member left an email address for us to contact, so weve got a few questions: how m Continue reading >>
Can I Buy Glucose Test Strips Over The Counter?
Yes, you can purchase as many blood glucose test strips as you want over the counter at your local pharmacy or online. You may find that local pharmacies keep their test strips behind the counter. That’s is not because a prescription is required for test strips but rather to keep the test strips from people stealing them because they are so expensive. Do I Need A Prescription to Buy Glucose Test Strip? We often get this question about all diabetic supplies not just the test strips, and the answer is always the same: No, you’re not required to have a prescription to buy glucose test strips. If for whatever reason you need buy diabetic tests strips you can do so by ordering them online or purchasing them at your local pharmacy. Just keep in mind that they are so expensive at your local pharmacy. Does Insurance Require Prescription to Cover My Test Strips? The answer to this question depends on your insurance. Generally, there are three possible scenarios: Your insurance requires a prescription to cover your test strips. In that case you will need to have your doctor write you a prescription to get coverage for your test strips. Otherwise, you can buy them without prescription but you would have to pay out of your pocket. You may have to launch a letter-writing campaign to your insurance to see if they will reimburse you for the over the counter purchase of test strips. There are other insurances that don’t require prescriptions. All they will need from you is the invoice. Simply Submit your invoice to them for reimbursement. These are commonly referred to as Good insurance. Lastly, if you’re on Medicare or Medicaid, you will need to have a prescription to get covered. You can check online to see if there are any government programs that will reimburse you for diab Continue reading >>
Weavers Turn Silk Into Diabetes Test Strips
Weavers Turn Silk Into Diabetes Test Strips Weavers Turn Silk Into Diabetes Test Strips Using a simple wooden handloom, weavers create silk strips that diabetics can use as glucose sensors. This loom is at Achira Labs in Bangalore, India. Courtesy of Tripurari Choudhary hide caption Using a simple wooden handloom, weavers create silk strips that diabetics can use as glucose sensors. This loom is at Achira Labs in Bangalore, India. It's a new way to do silk screening, that's for sure. Bangalore-based Achira Labs has figured out a way to hand weave diabetes test strips from silk. That sounds pretty luxurious compared to the standard materials of plastic or paper. But silk turns out to have several advantages in a country like India, where weavers who can work a handloom are abundant and the material is readily available and inexpensive. Many people with diabetes depend on these little strips to monitor their blood sugar levels. They prick a fingertip, dab a blood drop onto a test strip and then feed the strip into a glucose reader. The idea to use silk for medical sensors isn't new for Achira labs, which has made silk strips that change color when they detect a deadly type of diarrhea in diapers . The new silk strips for diabetics, which will roll out this year, give the same information as other types of glucose strips but are easier to manufacture. Plastic and paper strips are typically sprayed with enzymes that break down blood sugar into electricity. Then a machine has to embed electrodes in the material, so the electrical signals can be transmitted into the glucose meter. Achira's silk sensors only require the spray. The coated threads can conduct the electrochemical signals. Sobha (center) is one of the weavers who turn silk into test strips. To her right is Tripur Continue reading >>
Cheapest Diabetic Test Strips Available Here!
Manufacturers of diabetic test strips are always seeking new ways to enhance their glucose monitoring systems to gain more share of the market. While brand test strips are continually adopting new features, the competition is at its highest. You would think the price of diabetic test strips would drop in such a competitive environment but the reality is proving otherwise. The cost of glucose test strips have have recently increased as some of the biggest manufacturers such as Roche or OneTouch raised their prices by almost 10% just this last month. The cost of diabetic test strips continues to rise as more individuals are diagnosed with diabetes. According to American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million Americans lived with diabetes in 2011. This numbers makes up about 8.3% of the U.S Population. Though this number is only on the rise much like the cost of test strips, individuals with diabetes will continue to look for ways to save money on their diabetic test strips. The good news, thanks to internet technology, finding cheapest diabetic test strips is now easier than ever. Cheapest diabetic test strips are often found online. Unlike large pharmacies such as Walmart, Rite Aid, or Walgreens which continue to retail test strips at high prices, Diabetic Outlet offers the cheapest diabetes tests strips in singles and bundles to keep diabetes management affordable for people with diabetes who pay out of pocket for their glucose test strips. See a list of our discounted diabetic test strips and compare for yourself: Diabetic Outlet offers free shipping and fast delivery on most major name brands of glucose testing strips including: Accu-Chek, Bayer, FreeStyle, Nipro, One Touch Ultra, Unistrip, Prodigy, and more. Continue reading >>
Causes Behind The Fluctuating Prices Of Diabetic Test Strips
Why are the rates for diabetic test strips constantly changing? Good question. Although every market has its fluctuations, the market for diabetic testing supplies has shown major instability in the recent past. With diabetes becoming so prevalent there is a continually increasing demand for testing supplies. In turn, there should be hundreds of manufacturers competing for market share and thus driving the prices down. Unfortunately, the Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring (BGSM) market is anything but normal. Over the past 20 years, four manufacturers have managed to control over 90% of the BGSM market, those being: Lifescan – One Touch Ultra Blue and Verio Roche – Accu-chek Aviva Plus and Smartview Abbott – Freestyle Lite and Precision Xtra Bayer – Bayer Contour and Contour NEXT With so much market share, these four manufacturers have created an Oligopoly that prevents competition. In other words, prices can be controlled and raised systematically through collusion and lobbying. Big Pharma is not the only culprit. Both the Government and Health Insurance companies also add to the confusion and limited choices. The Competitive Bidding Program was implemented by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2013 forcing suppliers of test strips to compete for Medicare bids. It prevented 90% of suppliers from selling to Medicare. While these suppliers can still sell to Medicare customers, they would not be reimbursed. If you’re looking to restrict access and decrease affordability, that’s how you do it. For more, checkout this blog on the Competitive Bidding Program and it’s impact on diabetes. But it’s the insurance sector causing the most recent fluctuations in the prices of diabetes supplies. Health insurance giants, represented by Pharmacy Benefit Continue reading >>
The Scoop On Finding Cheap Test Strips And Meters
I have always had the luxury of health insurance and I’m eternally grateful for that, but many times when I read comments left on blogs, my heart aches for those people who suffer the burden of paying for their diabetes supplies out of pocket I will admit the feeling of being covered is worth every penny. David’s recent blog focused on a new meter and many of the comments that were left asked how to pay for test strips. Blood sugar testing is the most important factor in taking action against diabetes complications! That said, I thought I would do a little market research for where to find the cheapest test strips on the Internet and in local stores. Using my One Touch Ultra Mini as the model for comparison, and Consumer Reports to compare accuracy and dependability factors, I sat at my computer for 4 days looking up cheap test strips. Let’s just say that I had no idea what I was getting into, but I felt sick with what I saw as marketing for “cheap” test strips, as many were anything but cheap! Just for your information, Consumer Reports Health ratings for most accurate, consistent and easy to use meters, 1= most favored, 10 = least favored by CR standards: Meter Price Per Strip 1. One Touch Ultra Mini $1.14 2. Ascensia Contour $1.10 3. One Touch Ultra2 $1.14 4. ReliOn Ultima (WalMart) *CR ranked as best buy $0.44 5. One Touch UltraSmart $1.14 6. Nova Max $0.96 7. Freestyle Lite $1.30 8. Accu-Chek Aviva $1.10 9. Freestyle Freedom $1.30 10. Duo-Care - blood glucose/blood pressure $0.90 11. Ascensia Breeze 2 $1.10 12. True Track (drugstore chain label) $0.60 Since we know accuracy is under scrutiny, I think it best to rely on your own feelings for what works best for you! Of the twenty sites I browsed, Amazon.com had the cheapest test strips for most meters and Continue reading >>
A Diabetes Test You Can Do Yourself
Are you urinating more often, feeling very thirsty, hungry, or tired? Maybe you’re losing weight. You may have type 2 diabetes. To find out, you can make an appointment with your doctor and have your blood tested for the condition. Or you can go to the drug store, buy a blood glucose meter, and give yourself a diabetes test. An estimated 40 percent of adults with type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it, which means they aren’t getting treatment that could protect them from very serious health problems down the road, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure. The best option is to go to a doctor if you’re having symptoms of diabetes. But if you’re reluctant to do that, for whatever reason, the next best thing is to buy an over-the-counter diabetes test kit. "If you have a family history of diabetes, are obese, or have high blood pressure, you should test yourself for diabetes, if your doctor hasn’t already done so," says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports' chief medical adviser. "By being a proactive person, you might save yourself a lot of grief in the future.” Blood glucose meters can be purchased without a prescription. Models in our Ratings of more than two dozen devices cost $10 to $75. They usually come with 10 lancets, but you might have to buy a pack of test strips separately, which can cost $18 and up; check the package to see what it includes. If the meter doesn’t come with strips, make sure you buy a pack made for that model or you’ll get inaccurate results. Most models come with batteries. Here’s what you need to do next: Fast overnight. Don’t have anything to eat or drink (except water) for at least 8 hours, then test yourself first thing in the morning, before breakfast. Follow directions. Read the manual to ma Continue reading >>