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I'm going on Medicare in January and I have a meter question for the group. I have been using a FreeStyle Lite for the last several years without issue. I especially liked the software package that allowed to me download BG readings and bring 90 day reports to my doc. Medicare/United Health will not provide test strips for my FreeStyle Lite. UH will only provide for Accu-Chek® or OneTouch® brands. My question is: which one have members had good luck with?
 

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Hi, gerryyy, haven't seen you post in a while!

I have no experience with either brand of meter so I can't offer much help there. But I'll throw in an alternate thinking point: that if you like the meter you have (or the software or whatever) it might be worth keeping it and just buying the strips yourself. There are many things Medicare doesn't cover; this would simply be one of them.

It looks like strips for the Freestyle Lite run about US$1.20 each if you buy them on-line from someplace reputable. Not cheap necessarily, but if you like things as they are, it might be an option for you. Just a thought.
 

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I'm unfamiliar with Accu-Chek but currently use a OneTouch Verio Flex meter. I use it because my insurance wouldn't cover Contour but it has been a good meter so far. The meter will bluetooth readings to the OneTouch Reveal app on my phone. The app does let you share 14, 30, or 90 day reports via email or print copy. I've never used that feature though. Also not familiar with the FreeStyle, so can't offer comparison of either apps report formats.

I hate it that insurance can dictate medicines or medical supplies.
 

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I had the Accu-Chek Guide when I went on Medicare and was allowed to keep it. I get strips, but only enough to test once a day. It syncs by Bluetooth with the mysugr app. I've also been happy with it and the other Accu-Chek meters I've had in the past.
 

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I'm going on Medicare in January and I have a meter question for the group. I have been using a FreeStyle Lite for the last several years without issue. I especially liked the software package that allowed to me download BG readings and bring 90 day reports to my doc. Medicare/United Health will not provide test strips for my FreeStyle Lite. UH will only provide for Accu-Chek® or OneTouch® brands. My question is: which one have members had good luck with?
I really liked FreeStyle Lite, but like you it was not on the Medicare Advantage list for my coverage. I chose Accu-Chek Guide (not to be confused with the Guide ME). The meter is just okay, but I really like the Accu-Chek FastClix lancet device that comes with it. Six lancets are encased in a cartridge which is easily placed into the lancing device. You never handle (nor see) the lancet sharps. I haven't used the software yet, so can't speak to that.
 

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I'm going on Medicare in January and I have a meter question for the group. I have been using a FreeStyle Lite for the last several years without issue. I especially liked the software package that allowed to me download BG readings and bring 90 day reports to my doc. Medicare/United Health will not provide test strips for my FreeStyle Lite. UH will only provide for Accu-Chek® or OneTouch® brands. My question is: which one have members had good luck with?

I also had a Freestyle Lite, and I liked it, a lot. When I needed to use more strips than my insurance would pay for (Medicare.) I changed direction.

I bought an inexpensive meter from Wal Mart, which has the least expensive strips. I take whatever strips Medicare would pay for and I buy more strips to actually try to control BG.

Several years ago I started Insulin. High Insulin levels cause one to gain weight. So I can have moderately poor BG control while gaining a lot of weight. With all that frustration I decided to try to get a Continuous Glucose Monitor. Difficult in Pandemic. Medicare to get a CGM requires some conditions be met. One is a CGM is prescribed only by a Endocrinologist, and in my case. I would need to take Insulin several times a day. (I had been on a once a day injection of long term Insulin) Endo agreed my Diabetes had progressed to where better control could be had by using meal time Insulin There are a lot of things to this story about the difficulties of what is required to get a CGM, hopefully the rules have changed. Endo also wrote for Jardiance. Despite my certainty that I had infections from Jardiance, no one would prescribe an Antibiotic. Doctors must have a Urine test which shows Bacteria or no Antibiotics. I quite Jardiance, and I suspect my kidneys may have been ruined by my experience with Jardiance. I have spoke with other Diabetics who lost quite a bit of weight with Jardiance, and careful control of diet, but also had problems with Infections which doctors refused to write Antibiotics for. But this was about a CGM.

Medicare rules say the only CGM I was allowed is the Abbott Librem Two, which is attached to the back of my upper arm. Every time I take a shower it loosens a bit. By the third day, it gives bad readings. There are no clever, inexpensive ways to hold this thing down.

I am left with either giving up the CGM, or only showering every two weeks (Sensor is supposed to last two weeks)

I am also giving up the Endo, so I don't have to drive so far to see my Primary, Not sure if I am going to keep injecting with each meal. I think it is necessary, but I will have to go to a careful control between little food, and little amounts of insulin.

I told the CGM story as part of where you might be headed. Your experience might be different. Hopefully the rules, devices will get better for us.

I now better appreciate what my primary, (the one who only prescribed for one injection of long term Insulin a day) was trying to achieve with middle of the road treatment. That is stay away from the edges of not having enough Insulin in my body, while appearing to have good BG numbers. and simply eating too much, injecting Insulin to bring down BG levels, which sticks all that into my liver, and so on ending up in looking like body fat.

I have heard of other Diabetics who changed into the meter with the cheapest strips. Even if they had to buy the meter and most of the strips.

Psst. I met a lady at the check out at the supermarket who said the policies of the government regarding low Social Security payments and medical costs --- The government is trying to kill us. but you didn't hear it from me.
 

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Medicare rules say the only CGM I was allowed is the Abbott Librem Two, which is attached to the back of my upper arm. Every time I take a shower it loosens a bit. By the third day, it gives bad readings. There are no clever, inexpensive ways to hold this thing down.

I am left with either giving up the CGM, or only showering every two weeks (Sensor is supposed to last two weeks)
We've had several folks here complain about the attachment methods for some CGMs. It's almost like whoever designed them didn't live with them long enough to discover how easily they can be knocked out of position. :(

foodahollic, thanks for sharing your hard-won experience here.
 

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I'm going on Medicare in January and I have a meter question for the group. I have been using a FreeStyle Lite for the last several years without issue. I especially liked the software package that allowed to me download BG readings and bring 90 day reports to my doc. Medicare/United Health will not provide test strips for my FreeStyle Lite. UH will only provide for Accu-Chek® or OneTouch® brands. My question is: which one have members had good luck with?
I have used the Accu-chek and I liked it, but I prefer the Freestyle lite. My Medicare does pay for my strips, though they act like strips are a rationed item. They are very stingy with the amount they will give the patient. I'm on Insulin I wonder if that is why Medicare pays for mine.
 

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I'm on Medicare. But I don't think that it's Medicare that is paying for my diabetic supplies. I have Cigna as a Medicare Advantage plan, I guess that's what you call it and they are the ones that decide what they're going to pay for. I got a free Freedom Lite meter and Cigna pays for all of my test strips. When I'm in a good mood I test my BG 7 times a day. Cigna paid for 200 strips. That should last 3 months.
Cigna will also pay for a CGM if I want one. I think they let you get a free CGM every two years.
 

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I really like the Accu-Chek FastClix lancet device that comes with it. Six lancets are encased in a cartridge which is easily placed into the lancing device. You never handle (nor see) the lancet sharps. I haven't used the software yet, so can't speak to that.
I like that lancet device too! Not only do you never see or handle the sharps, but it doesn't hurt as much as other lancet devices.
 

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I'm on Medicare. But I don't think that it's Medicare that is paying for my diabetic supplies. I have Cigna as a Medicare Advantage plan, I guess that's what you call it and they are the ones that decide what they're going to pay for. I got a free Freedom Lite meter and Cigna pays for all of my test strips. When I'm in a good mood I test my BG 7 times a day. Cigna paid for 200 strips. That should last 3 months.
Cigna will also pay for a CGM if I want one. I think they let you get a free CGM every two years.
I'm glad your strips are being paid for. I sometimes get bills from CVS for almost $600 for 200 strips. Even though Medicare paid for them CVS evidently also put the claim thru my Blue Cross Insurance. Can you imagine having to pay for these strips without insurance. I dread getting the strips because they are so regulated. I test 4 times a day because of insulin injections, and my prescription is written for such. Yet the pharmacies short change the scrip so that I only get 200 strips. If I want the remaining 50 or 60 strips I'm charged extra for those strips. Let us know what you decide on your meter. I think if I didn't have access to the freestyle lite, then I'd go with the Accu chek.
 

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I sometimes get bills from CVS for almost $600 for 200 strips. Even though Medicare paid for them CVS evidently also put the claim thru my Blue Cross Insurance. Can you imagine having to pay for these strips without insurance.
So what I don't understand -- and maybe this is a question for another thread or doesn't belong on this site at all -- is why any entity is paying $3 for each test strip. I'm not talking about individuals -- I understand companies charging what they think they can get away with. But on CVS' Web site, they're charging randos searching on their site right now (like me) a little over $2 for each Guide test strip. The on-line place I get my (non-Accu-Chek) strips from charges less than $1.50 each for what appears to be the same strips.

So if money can be made money selling these strips at $1.50 each, why is any insurer paying twice that? For the same money they could be giving people twice as many strips. That, after all, is what we all want -- the ability to test often to tailor our response to our BG levels. Given the clout Medicare has to set charges for medical procedures, it's odd that they don't seem to set the price for supplies like this -- or, for that matter, try to steer people to meter/strip systems that are much cheaper overall (that's a more dangerous opinion, I know).
 

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I'm going on Medicare in January and I have a meter question for the group. I have been using a FreeStyle Lite for the last several years without issue. I especially liked the software package that allowed to me download BG readings and bring 90 day reports to my doc. Medicare/United Health will not provide test strips for my FreeStyle Lite. UH will only provide for Accu-Chek® or OneTouch® brands. My question is: which one have members had good luck with?
Here is a link to Medicare's diabetes coverage pamphlet:

It does not specify any brand of meter. Some of the Medicare Advantage plans want to limit what meter you can get and I have not heard if they are getting away with it or not.
Perhaps you should contact Medicare directly. Goo luck with that.

Ed
 

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I'm glad your strips are being paid for. I sometimes get bills from CVS for almost $600 for 200 strips. Even though Medicare paid for them CVS evidently also put the claim thru my Blue Cross Insurance. Can you imagine having to pay for these strips without insurance. I dread getting the strips because they are so regulated. I test 4 times a day because of insulin injections, and my prescription is written for such. Yet the pharmacies short change the scrip so that I only get 200 strips. If I want the remaining 50 or 60 strips I'm charged extra for those strips. Let us know what you decide on your meter. I think if I didn't have access to the freestyle lite, then I'd go with the Accu chek.
You may want to check the price of your extra test strips online. That is how I have bought our extra strips from for years. Ronnie has a Dexcom cgm but our Medicare advantage plan pays for 200 strips also and I purchase his Keto-Mojo test strips for ketone testing
 

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Oops, I should have mentioned. When I qualified for Social Security, there was a delay between the first Social Security payment and the beginning of Medicare coverage. Check on that, don't want to run up bills that you thought Medicare would cover most of, and then suddenly you are responsible.

Part of Traditional Medicare is a thing called 'Assignment.' If the provider accepts' Medicare Assignment,' then the provider accepts whatever Medicare decides a procedure or service should be. A huge difference in what a provider really begins asking for. Well, Let me put that another way. If you go to a doctor, and his office lists a short visit as three hundred, then the reason for that number is for the doctor to lobby insurance companies to pay the provider more. Medicare Assignment for that visit might be eighty dollars. For which you will have a deductible, and then a co pay of twenty percent.

Funny story about that. Co-payments before Obama Care were ten percent. To get some legislators onboard with Obama Care, the government decided those on Social Security had so much extra money we did not need that they would increase the Medicare Monthly Premium, Deductible and increased the co-payment from ten to twenty percent.

The more poor folks on Medicare were to be aided by Expanded Medicaid, (which my state, Texas, refused to accept)

What looked like a disaster for me changed when my provider, a Catholic Charity hospital clinic chain, just decided I would not be required to make any Co-Payment. (Although I did have to fill out a form).

Subsequent to that, I applied for SNAP benefits (what used to be food stamps), and specified in the state form, all other benefits I might qualify for. Which led to my receiving what was then called Medicare Part D (drugs) "Extra Help." Which now limits my drug co Pays to ten dollars for Patent drugs, like Insulin. and about three dollars for generic drugs. Some drugs may not be covered at all.

As of now, 'extra help,' has another name, and is on the Medicare/Social Security website. With some other programs. Apply for all, even though the rules listed on the website may say you would not qualify. The website is frequently not updated to the latest rules. Further, those who write these websites and rules in the Medicare handbook do not use language in the same way that most people would. It is difficult, actually impossible to grasp the implications of what is being written or said. The Medicare handbook is out of date when you first see it.

If you are going to apply for SNAP, they allow you to deduct from your income some things. Like all your 'over the counter' medical things. Aspirin or whatever. Start saving receipts. Just getting one dollar of SNAP benefits might be the threshold for getting other benefits which will be very important to you.

In dealing with government agencies, they have what I call the death penalty. If you speak one word that can be taken as a threat, you can be disqualified from nearly all the other benefits for the rest of your life. Like SNAP for one, in all states. It is part of a Zero Tolerance Policy.

I read a lot of Diabetes things are Medicare Part B. Diabetic Policies which are not well described, and which are subject to surprising change.

If I could change part of the government Insurance system, I would be rid of qualifying numbers for programs. They are hard written into law, not increased by Inflation, and soon those who need the help can not get on the program.

We have become like third world countries. Many of the US citizens are poor, and need the full benefit of programs, (that would enable those who are willing to work, to continue to be able to work) We have a middle class, whose success is greatly limited when they have to pay the full dollar amount for many things, like private health care insurance. The the two percent, the super rich for whom none of paying anything for health care impacts their lifestyle at all. I say, give Medicare to the super rich, or anyone who pays their fair share for taxes over, five hundred thousand dollars. A bit disingenuous on my part, in that I know that the super rich will not sit in a medical doctors office beside we poor people, but who will instead go to a private medical doctor who charges a lot more, and requires immediate payment. But it ends this argument that we must not provide free public benefits to those who are so well off they do not need public benefits. Disqualifying instead many of those who need health care because they actually are making an effort to work. Or just because of inflation.
 

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I used to use an Accu Chek Fast Clix, because it was easier on my fingers than the lancing device which came with the meter.

The Endo wrote a prescription for Accu Chek Softclix needles, which only has one needle in it. I bought the Lancing device, it is like a fat pen. I don't like having to change the needle, but device is less painful to use.
If you have the time to wait. I think you can call the number to Accu Chek, and they might send you a free Lancing Device. Either Fast Clix or Soft Clix. They make their money on selling needles.
 
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