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 >>
Next Up For #pricecheck: How Much For Diabetes Test Strips?
If you have diabetes: How many test strips do you use each day to check your blood sugar? And how much do they cost? As I’ve waded into the next phase of our #PriceCheck collaboration, I’ve learned these are not simple questions. The basics People with diabetes have a problem with insulin - a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Either their bodies don't produce it (Type 1 diabetes, which only affects about 5 percent of diabetics), or don't use it properly (Type 2 diabetes, the most common form). Diabetics must constantly check their blood sugar levels. This involves a glucose meter. You insert a test strip into the meter, then use a special needle to prick a finger and place a drop of blood on the test strip; the meter displays the result. The number of test strips people use each day "varies depending on the frequency that you need to be testing," explains Manny Hernandez, the president of the Diabetes Hands Foundation, which connects diabetics with information and social networks. The test strip results need to be accurate because people are relying on this data before injecting themselves with insulin, which is a "very powerful drug," Hernandez says. (He mentions that he's concerned that some cheaper test strips are not as accurate - I'll try to tackle that concern in an upcoming post.) Struggles with Strips But for many diabetics, purchasing test strips – whether online or through insurance – can be frustrating. Prices for the test strips vary widely. A quick search of our #PriceCheck database pulls up two results in Los Angeles: At the same Walgreens on Santa Monica Boulevard, a box of 100 Walgreens-brand test strips is $49.99, while a box of 50 Accu-Check Smartview test strips is $87.99. But cash prices can mean little to pat Continue reading >>
How Much Do Diabetes Supplies Cost?
ANSWER A glucose meter can vary in price depending on the features and brand you select. But you should be able to buy one for $40 to $60. Diabetes test strips can cost around $100 a month. Test strips are pricey, but you must have them to avoid problems. Checking only once or twice a day can save money on test strips. But first discuss less frequent sugar checks with your doctor or diabetes educator. Continue reading >>
How Much Does A Glucose Monitor And Test Strips Cost?
Glucose monitors and the strips you use each time you test your blood vary widely in price. There are about 75 different kinds. Many are covered by insurance, as well as Medicare, so finding one that your doctor recommends, and that your coverage will pay for, can help you obtain one that is affordable. Glucose monitors are not very expensive; they typically retail for between $50 and $100, and you can usually get coupons that offer a substantial discount. Sometimes you can even get a monitor free from your doctor or diabetes educator or the manufacturer. The real expense is the test strips. At full retail, these typically go for about $0.75 per strip or more. Even if you're monitoring just once a day, that's $22.50 per month or $270.00 per year. Because most people benefit from frequent monitoring, at least at some point during their diabetes management, the real cost of monitoring may be substantial. We know many patients who test five or six times per day or even more; that adds up to a lot of money. For many people, the single most important question is whether their insurance plan will cover the cost of a particular meter and strips. If your insurance will pay all or a portion of the cost of a certain brand, it's probably reasonable to go with that brand. Sometimes insurance companies or diabetes suppliers have contracts with brands that aren't as desirable because the meters require a larger drop of blood (meaning you have to stick yourself more deeply), aren't as user-friendly, or don't offer high-tech bells and whistles such as the ability to download the information to a computer. In this case you can either try to persuade your insurer or the supplier to give you a better model or pay for it yourself. Check out a meter's features and tools before you make the Continue reading >>
Millions Of Americans Are At Risk For Diabetes. Here’s How To Get Screened
November is National Diabetes Month. In the U.S., approximately 29.1 million people are living with diabetes (either type 1 or type 2). Medical expenditures for those people are as much as 2.3 times higher than for a person living without diabetes. Diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, is most often diagnosed in children, teens and young adults. Type 2 diabetes is more common. It makes up about 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, yet it’s estimated that in 2015, as many as 7.2 million adults were undiagnosed. That same year, 84.1 million Americans aged 18 and older had prediabetes, which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy but often goes away soon after delivery. However, if you’ve ever been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you and your baby are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Fortunately, there are simple and fairly inexpensive (and sometimes even free!) tests that can let you know if you have diabetes or if you’re at risk of developing it later in life. Who Should Get Screened for Diabetes The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that adults aged 40 to 70 be screened for abnormal blood glucose and diabetes. However, if you or a family member are experiencing what may be symptoms of type 2 diabetes, you should talk to a medical professional about your concerns, regardless of age. (Type 1 diabetes is unlike type 2 in that type 1 is too often diagnosed only when it reaches a critical point, meaning most symptoms may go undetected until a physical crisis occurs. Still, there are symptoms to watch for that may be indicative of type 1 diabetes.) You should consider being screened for type 2 diabetes if you: Are ove Continue reading >>
Should You Get A Free Type 2 Diabetes Screening?
Free screenings for diabetes are sometimes available at pharmacies, and even in big-box stores, like Walmart. You may also be able to get a free blood sugar test at your local hospital. But before you go, it’s important to understand the limitations of this blood sugar test. "In most cases, the diabetic test given at a free screening is a point-of-care blood sugar test," says Shannon Knapp, RN, CDE, manager of diabetes education in the department of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. These tests measure blood sugar with a finger prick and a glucose monitor. "Free screenings for diabetes are beneficial but have a lower accuracy rate than lab tests done in a doctor's office," Knapp notes. "They may be given at health fairs, community centers, or local pharmacies, but they are not a substitute for your primary care doctor." There are reasons that free screenings for diabetes may be an early indicator of the disease but still don’t provide a complete picture on their own. "To diagnose diabetes, you generally need two elevated fasting blood sugars," explains Knapp. "It's important to know that if you have free screening for diabetes without fasting, the results are not very useful. Any abnormal diabetic test needs to be followed up with your doctor." Why Get a Free Diabetes Screening? The purpose of this type of screening is to serve as an early alert, hopefully cutting down on the damage done by type 2 diabetes by uncovering it and addressing it early, before you have any complications of high blood sugar. Also, "These screenings have the potential to catch other types of diabetes," adds Knapp. Since more than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and another 86 million are at risk for the disease, early diagnosis is more important th Continue reading >>
Costs Of Screening For Pre-diabetes Among U.s. Adults
A comparison of different screening strategies Abstract OBJECTIVE—We evaluated various strategies to identify individuals aged 45–74 years with pre-diabetes (either impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We conducted a cost analysis to evaluate the effectiveness (proportion of cases identified), total costs, and efficiency (cost per case identified) of five detection strategies: an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test, an HbA1c test, a capillary blood glucose (CBG) test, and a risk assessment questionnaire. For the first strategy, all individuals received an OGTT. For the last four strategies, only those with a positive screening test received an OGTT. Data were from the Third U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2000 census, Medicare, and published literature. One-time screening costs were estimated from both a single-payer perspective and a societal perspective. RESULTS—The proportion of pre-diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes identified ranged from 69% to 100% (12.1–17.5 million). The cost per case identified ranged from $176 to $236 from a single-payer perspective and from $247 to $332 from a societal perspective. Testing all with OGTT was the most effective strategy, but the CBG test and risk assessment questionnaire were the most efficient. If people are substantially less willing to take an OGTT than a FPG test, then the FPG testing strategy was the most effective strategy. CONCLUSIONS—There is a tradeoff between effectiveness and efficiency in choosing a strategy. The most favorable strategy depends on if the goal of the screening program is to identify more cases or to pursue the lowest cost per case. The expected percentage of the population willing to Continue reading >>
Diabetes Test Strips: How Much Do They Cost? 15 Cents Or $1.50 Each.
Summary: Diabetes test strips can cost a lot. We heard prices ranging from 15 cents a strip, to $9 for a box of 50 strips (18 cents each) up to $1.50 per strip. A little more than 60 cents a strip is not uncommon. The strips are used by diabetics to test their blood glucose. While sometimes strips are fully covered by insurance, quite often they are not, as we learned in our #PriceCheck project, crowdsourcing health care prices in California. People with diabetes wanted us to know that the high price of test strips quite often meant they were not able to consistently monitor their blood glucose. That was true both for uninsured people and insured people, who said their insurance policies often did not cover strips, or covered fewer than the doctor prescribed, or covered them with a hefty copay. The diabetes test strip price survey is part of our #PriceCheck project, crowdsourcing health care 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. Because they are not testing their blood glucose, some people told us, they felt that they were guessing on treatment — and therefore were more likely to encounter the serious complications that diabetes can bring, like cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, eye damage (including blindness), foot damage (including amputation), skin conditions, hearing impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetes relates to the way your body uses blood sugar or glucose. If you have diabetes, either Type 1 or Type 2, you have too much glucose in your blood, and that can lead to these complications. (Here’s a great Mayo Clinic discussion of diabetes.) Diabetics commonly measure their blood glucose leve Continue reading >>
Tips For Cutting Costs Of Blood Glucose Test Strips
Tips for cutting costs of blood glucose test strips Answers from Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E. In the U.S., you can try these tips to reduce the cost of test strips: Check with insurance or Medicare. Your insurance or Medicare will help to cover the cost of test strips if you have a prescription. Check with them, they may have a contract with a different meter company and you may be paying more than you have to for your test strips. Check with your blood glucose meter company. Many companies have programs or discount cards to help with the cost of testing supplies. The number should be on the back of your meter. Ask your store. Some chains have non-branded meters and testing supplies at a lower cost than branded meters. Patient assistance and outreach programs. Ask your health care provider about resources that may be available to you. Moreland P (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 8, 2018. Your Medicare coverage: Blood sugar (glucose) test strips. Accessed May 8, 2018. Tsai A. 4 ways to save on test strips. Accessed May 8, 2018. Everything you need to know about diabetes test strips. Accessed May 8, 2018. Continue reading >>
The Cost Of Diabetes
In July, I went to order a refill of my pump and was refused. My account was overdue, and my pump company wouldn’t issue a refill until I could pay at least $400 of the $1200 I owed. I didn’t have $400. I am a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom with a knack for stretching my husband’s paycheck. I’d been making small monthly payments of about $50 because that was all we could afford, but now they wouldn’t send me any more. So I went to the pharmacy and bought a box of syringes for $25. I didn’t want to go back to multiple daily injections, but I didn’t see that I had a choice. It turns out that I’m not alone. A member of tuDiabetes writes, “I am no longer pumping…the supplies are too expensive, since I am starting my first semester of college. I just can’t afford it…which makes me really sad.” Another member writes, “My survival has come to rely on the kindness of others. Sometimes I have to choose to live without heat in the winter or electricity in order to afford my insulin and test strips. I wait for months and endless hours to attend the free clinic (which is overloaded with patients) and I haven’t seen an endo in years because I can’t afford it. There has to be another way…” One of the first things my pediatrician told my mom when I was diagnosed in 1985, at 14 years old, was that diabetes is one of the most expensive diseases. The expense didn’t really register with me until I graduated from college and was kicked off my parent’s health insurance plan. I had to find a job so that I could pay for test strips, insulin, and syringes instead of new clothes and shoes like my friends. Suddenly I was thrown into the adult world of trying to manage my finances. The cons (money spent on visits to the doctor and medical supplies) w Continue reading >>
How Much Does A Glucose Meter Cost?
Blood glucose meters vary tremendously. For those without insurance, a meter can cost between $8.99 and $1,150, but averages $20-$80. While all meters perform the same function, the cost depends primarily on the meter's extra features. According to the American Diabetes Association the least expensive blood glucose meters often simply provide a digital display of the results. More expensive blood glucose meters can store several months of readings and can communicate with a computer so that the patient can download printable datasets to share with their physician. The most expensive blood glucose meter on the market is called the Accu-Chek Voicemate Blood Glucose Monitor . This meter, which sells for just over $600 to more than $1,000, is designed for the visually impaired and offers a variety of features, including voiced instructions (which are also available in Spanish) and the ability to store numerous readings. Individuals with insurance will pay typical copays and coinsurance rates, which can range from $5 to 50 percent of the cost for the device. Blood glucose meters require the purchase of test strips, which a diabetic patient could use up to 12 times a day. Test strips are specific to the blood glucose meter and range in cost from $.35 each to $1 each, according to an article published in the Medical Laboratory Observer . Individuals with insurance coverage for the test strip packages can expect to pay typical copays and coinsurance rates, which can range from $5 to $50. Lancets (small, thin needles used to puncture the skin) are required to test a patient's blood sugar, and cost between $5 and $22 per 100 lancets, depending upon the features.Some lancets have a setting for various depths of penetration. Others are thinner and sharper, which can mean l Continue reading >>
Diabetic Test Strips
Since our business is offering diabetic test strips for sale, people frequently ask us questions like: Why are diabetic test strips so expensive? Whats the price of generic diabetic test strips? Do you have discount diabetic test strips? Do you have low cost diabetic test strips? Do you need a prescription for diabetic test strips? Can expired diabetic test strips give false readings? Do diabetic test strips go bad? Why do they put an expiration date on diabetic test strips? What are the different brands of diabetic test strips? Does the brand matter? First heres why you should buy diabetes test strips. Testing your blood sugar is the first step in managing your diabetes. If you dont know what your blood sugar is how can you know what you need to do to control it? Diabetes test strips work very simply. A drop of blood is applied to the intake port on the strip, usually indicated by a clear area in the strip where you can see the blood run up the strip. Inside the strip the blood mixes with an enzyme. The meter then runs electricity through that mixture. The meter gauges the resistance to the electricity to determine your blood sugar reading. The simple answer to how much diabetes test strips cost is TOO MUCH! Why are diabetic test strips expensive? Basically its because the manufacturers and insurance companies want to make as much money as possible. At Diathrive we offer high quality diabetes testing supplies at an affordable, reasonable cost. The most important consideration when buying test strips is that you buy them from a company you trust. At Diathrive we even provide you with control solution with every order so you can always verify the quality of your diabetes test strips. There are discount and generic test strips, but most of the time the strips we find onl Continue reading >>
How Much Do Diabetic Test Strips Cost? Our New Pricecheck Project
Summary: Managing chronic conditions like diabetes can be costly, even if you have insurance. We’re starting a segment in our PriceCheck project to crowdsource the price of a common diabetic supply, the test strip. This is the fourth item in our PriceCheck series; the first three were mammograms, MRI’s, and IUD’s. You can not only share on our PriceCheck page, but also search to see the results of our data collection, and you can find the three partners’ blog posts here on our collective page, or join our community on our Facebook page. Diabetes relates to the way your body uses blood sugar or glucose. If you have diabetes, either Type 1 or Type 2, it means you have too much glucose in your blood, and that can lead to complications. (Here’s a nice Mayo Clinic explainer on diabetes.) Experts say 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, and as many as 79 million have prediabetes. The worst complications of diabetes include heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, eye damage (which can lead to blindness), foot disease (which can lead to amputation) and other ills. To make their treatments clear, diabetics commonly measure their blood glucose level with a meter and a test strip. That testing level tells whether their glucose levels are in range or not, and thus whether they need to use medications. The test strip has chemicals that react with the glucose in the blood; each strip is used and then discarded. Prices for test strips (the white strip in the picture) can vary widely, from $87.99 for a box of 50 Accu-Check Smartview strips at Walgreens, to $49.99 for a box of 100 Walgreens brand strips at Walgreens — or, if your insurance covers them, perhaps you get them at no charge. We have heard prices ranging from 25 cents to $1 per test strip, which adds up quickly. Ou Continue reading >>
How Much Does A Private Blood Test Cost?
Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community Hello, Can you get a Hba1c test done privately and if so how much does it cost? Anyone got any ideas? Hello, Can you get a Hba1c test done privately and if so how much does it cost? Anyone got any ideas? Yes you can but be wary. The private hospitals where I live send the collected samples to the local NHS laboratory anyway. The cost of the blood analysers are prohibitive for them to own their own thesedays. But you need to be careful who does it. For example, this outfit who charge 99 are using a finger prick which is entirely unsuitable: Capiliary blood from a finger prick is nothing like as good a quality sample from a vein so I wouldn't trust an hba1c from a finger prick. There is a reason why the NHS fill a small syringe. You used to be able to get your own HbA1c test done with a home kit for around 15. This was using Glucomen or Myrios kits. For some inexplicable reason both co's withdrew their tests from the market. No demand in a country that relies so heavily on the NHS presumably. I dont think you will find this test privately from a UK lab that deals direct with public for much less than 100 now, which is a ludicrous charge in my opinion. I'm sure the NHS doesnt pay that figure. Bayer, hardly a small insignificant co., produce a home kit for 2 tests that is marketed and sold to the public in the USA for around $30 as A1cNow, or 10 per test? It would be interesting to know for what reason it isnt on sale here in the UK. Obviously the price would be hiked up for the UK market like everything is but I'm sure there would be a demand for it. Unfortunately I disagree with Yorksman. I have tested these home kits (A1cNow) at the same time as having Continue reading >>
How Much Do Glucose Meters Cost?
ANSWER A glucose meter can vary in price depending on the features and brand you select, but you should be able to buy one for $40 to $60. Diabetes test strips can cost around $100 a month. Test strips are pricey, but you must have them to avoid problems. Checking only once or twice a day can save money on test strips. Before you go that route, though, discuss less frequent sugar checks with your doctor or diabetes educator. Continue reading >>