This discussion is just out of interest. I've noticed that a whole heaps of you guys use continious glucose monitors, mainly americans. I'm curious about whether they are covered by health insurance there or how much they cost?

i'm from Australia and practically no diabetics use them here because of the epic cost (they're about $80 for each cgm, if you change them every three days thats nearly $200 a week)

So really just curious about if you guys are just more willing to put out the cost for them or if they are cheaper there?

This is also something I noticed when reading the forums. In Canada, CGM technology is so expensive that I don’t know anyone that uses this. Even the RN at the diabetes centre don’t have too many patients using this because of the cost of the system. When I was looking into pumps, I was drawn to the Minimed because of the CGM capabilities; but, when I factored in the cost of the sensors, I figured this is not something that I would use very often, and removed that from the “pros” list for that pump.

In Canada, the Minimed CGM sensors currently run about $50 each. A little less expensive compared to Australia, but still a bit price at about $115/week or $450/month on top of all the other supplies. So it pretty much doubles the treatment costs.

Ooh I see. Thanks for the answer.
Not even private health cover which is extremely expensive covers any of the cost for the cgm’s here

Yeah that’s really pricey also. Are you aware if certain health insurances cover at least some of the costs for them in Canada?

I don’t believe that any health insurer will cover the cost of a CGM because it is not part of a standard treatment program. They would much rather go with the lower cost of the traditional glucometer.

Cost of CGM’s are high or insurance cost are high. Either way, diabetes is expensive. However, if you read most of the discussions about DEXCOM 7+, the sensors can easily last two weeks or more. I usually keep my sensor on for about two weeks then take a week off. I use about two sensors a month at the most, if one fails, I just call dexcom and they replace it. Its good technology if you can figure out a way to afford it.

Doesn’t the sensor start to bother you after having it inserted for that long? I usually were my infusion set for about four days, and sometimes on day four, it starts to itch. I can’t imagine having something inserted for that long. Also, doesn’t it take a long time for the insertion point to heal?

Yep I have a very expensive private health insurance which covers practically all of my diabetes related equipment but they won’t cover cgm which is a a pain in the arse honestly
14 days? wow. I get irritations from my pump after any more then 4 days so I doubt I could last much longer with the cgm. Lucky you though!

Hi Sophie,

I’m an American and I just started using the DexCom CGM last September. Prior to 2009 not many health insurance policies covered CGMs. In late 2008 the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) released results of the efficacy of CGMs in reducing A1c numbers while also reducing the incidence of severe hypoglycemic events. You can look at a good summary of these studies here.

The JDRF studied the effects of clinical CGM useage with the plan to get more insurance coverage in the U.S. They are doing this as part of the larger effort to produce an “artificial pancreas,” that is the combination of an insulin pump, a CGM, and smart software that can automatically respond to changes in blood glucose.

As a result of the publication of these JDRF studies, many insurance companies started to cover CGMs, including my insurance carrier.

I just received a three month supply of sensors so I have the cost number in front of me. DexCom shows a list price of four sensors at $399 U.S. dollar (USD). It adjusts the price downward for the insurance company to $279.30 USD. That comes out to about $70 USD per sensor. I pay out of my pocket 20% of that price, or about $14. Since I usually can get about 14 days per sensor, the cost to me comes down to $1 USD per day – a very good value for me.

The sensor expense is the main cost but one also has to purchase the one time initial package that includes the receiver. I don’t remember the exact cost to get started but I think it was around $1000 USD. My insurance paid 100% of the cost since I exceeded my maximum annual out-of-pocket expense (known a major-medical coverage) in 2009.

I would not have started on the CGM if I had to pay for it by myself. I’m really glad that I can use it since it has been one of the most effective diabetic therapies I have experienced. My A1c has dropped by about 1% since last September. Anyone who has struggled to lower their A1c can attest to the great effort required. With the CGM it was relatively easy for me.

I would think that with documented positive clinical results of CGMs, people in countries like Australia and Canada should start to receive the benefits of this technology. I makes simple economic sense. No matter what health care system is in place, preventing or delaying diabetic complications will save heaps of money in the long run.

CGMs are “game changers,” keep your eye on them.


Since I started using the DexCom 7+ I reduced my BG strip usage from 12 per day to 4 per day. One BG strip costs $1. Thus I am saving $8 per day on BG strips. These $8 per day cover the cost of the sensor and a little more. Thus it costs my insurance little, if anything, to cover my DexCom 7+.

I live in Hungary and very few people use CGMS here. The only one that is available in the MiniMed CGMS. It costs the same price as in the USA, but there is no insurance coverage for it here.

BUT some very good doctors actually got a CGMS for the office. They lend them our to patients for a week. So the patient just needs to buy the sensor (around 50 USD). I did this in December and even one week of data helped!

I don’t think that they will be covered in Hungary for a while. You might have more hope in Australia! :slight_smile:

The reason your pump site itches is probably due to the fact that you are putting a fluid into your body through it. With the dexcom sensor, it is just there, it is also thinner then your pump tube. I dont have any irritation.