Medicare and CGMS Coverage

Dexcom Double Down Arrow LowSomeone recently landed on my blog using the search term “how to get a Dexcom approved by Medicare.” If you want to believe the standard line that Medicare doesn’t cover a CGMS, then I suggest you not waste your time reading this article. If you aren’t willing to accept the standard answer, then keep reading. I am on Medicare and have a Medicare Advantage Plan. Guess what, they paid for both a Freestyle Navigator and a Dexcom.

If you try to get a CGMS with Medicare, you are going to be told that it isn’t covered. And yes, I heard the “your insurance doesn’t cover that” plenty of times. Abbott told me that when I tried to get the Navigator and Dexcom told me that when I tried to get the Dexcom. Dexcom also told me that even after I had been using the Dexcom for a year and my insurance had been paying for it. I also heard it from supply companies. I have seen that statement made repeatedly on diabetes message boards but if I ask if they tried to file an appeal with their insurance company, they just repeat again that it isn’t covered. Sometimes even with traditional insurance, you have to fight for what you need. Medicare is no different.

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Dear Santa

Santa with ScrollDear Santa,

It is hard to believe that in just one more week it will be Black Friday. I don’t need to tell you that is the official start of the Christmas shopping season. I know a lot of people also start decorating for Christmas as soon as Thanksgiving is over. Since you are such a busy man, I thought that I would get my list in a little early. I have tried to not be too bad this year and I don’t think I am asking for too much so I hope that you will give some consideration to my wishes.

  • I would like for every PWD that wants one to have a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS) and not have to worry about fighting their insurance company for the right to use it. If you don’t know what a PWD is, it is a person with diabetes.

  • I would like for every PWD that wants a pump to have one without having to go thru hoops to get one.

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The End: Freestyle Navigator

It is hard to believe that it was January, 2010 that my Navigator died and Abbott was not able to replace it. I belong to the Navigator group on TuDiabetes and never dropped out because there has been very little activity. This evening, there was a post that Abbott called and they are discontinuing the Navigator in the US. They will stop having sensors available after June, 2012. The refund offer will expire March, 2012. You can read that post here.
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Happy Halloween!

I am sure that I don’t need to tell anyone that Sunday is Halloween.  Halloween is the beginning of a series of holidays that can be tough for diabetics – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (or Hanukah) and New Years, all of which fall in a two month period.  Everyone has their own way of dealing with the holidays, some more successful than others.  It can be pretty tough when everywhere you go, people are pushing food at you.

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Dexcom Software Glitch

I can’t really call it a bug but I guess you can say it is probably just something the engineers did not think about and is something potentially dangerous.

Back in July, Dexcom replaced my receiver.  That first night, I noticed something was not right with the alarms.  I went to bed and as usual, I checked my blood sugar right before.  I had the Dex lying on the bed and had rolled over so the Dex was behind me.  It started to vibrate and because I knew what my blood sugar was, I ignored it and figured I would get it when it beeped in 5 minutes.  Instead of beeping 5 minutes later, it vibrated again.  And 5 minutes later, it vibrated again and no beeps.  I went downstairs to call Dex and while I was on hold for the tech, it started to beep.  I talked to the tech and she said just to keep an eye on it and if it happened again, call them back.

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My Dexcom Seven Plus So Far

I started using my Dexcom on April 23rd, so it is seven weeks today that I started using it.  Overall, I love it!  Every once in awhile, I get some whacky readings, but for the most part, it is very accurate.  I find that it is more accurate than the Navigator was for me.  I was worried about going from 1 minute readings with the Navigator to 5 minute readings with the Dexcom but that has not been a problem for me.

I like the alarm settings on the Dexcom a lot better.  The high alarm can be set at 120.  With gastroparesis, the earlier I can get insulin working when my blood sugar starts going up the better.  I have my rapid rise & fall rates set at 2 mg/dl per minute as opposed to 3 mg/dl per minute.  I can get earlier notice when my BS starts going up or down.  The Dexcom has 3 directional arrows for each set – diagonal, single up or double up and the diagonal, single down or double down so those make it a lot easier to determine exactly how fast your BS is moving.

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