CGMs, Help! compare


I guess I don’t come here often enough Tim. But I have now had Freestyle Libre for over three months. It is of immense help in keeping by blood sugar within bounds. It is indeed 100% covered by Medicare.
I don’t know how I lived without it.


Then why has Medicare been covering mine for the last 3 months?


What @Laddie was referring to was the “free trial offer.” Medicare does not allow any of its beneficiaries to receive “free product” due to many fraud scandals in the past. I don’t think she was referring to receiving the Libre and having it paid for by Medicare. Medicare beneficiaries cannot even avail themselves to reduced price insulin programs for those in economic need.


Medicare covers Libre

And Decomm also I believe


As @Terry4 said, I was referring the participating in the Free Trial offer of the Libre that Vivi1 mentioned above where many people got a free scanner along with a couple of sensors to try out the system. Medicare beneficiaries were not eligible to get the free products to try out the system.


Yet if you get it from medicare it’s free, but you can’t try it for free??

normal goobermint workings I guess


I used both the Dexcom G4 and Libre.

Freestyle Libre:
The good:

  1. Afordable in Canadian $ Sensor $89 lasts for 14 days. Receiver $49. No need to change the transmitter battery. It comes with the sensor, one unit.
  2. No need to calibrate.
  3. Gives you a trend of 1 minute readings (from a literature I read).
  4. Easy to use software to read, print your history, A1c, etc.
  5. Receiver touch screen, easy to read and bright.

The Bad:
1 Not a true CGM, need to flash the receiver to the sensor to get data.
2 No alarms.
3 Should use upper arms for the sensor. I tried to put it on my leg and the readings were lower by 40 units consistently for 14 days. It was still useful if you add 40 to the meter readings.
4 The software reports are simplistic.
5 Receiver screen graphs very limited.
6 Tech support not easy to get.
7. Cannot restart the sensor.

Dexcom G4
The good.
1 Sensor life can be extended by restarting. Can go beyond 2 weeks if lucky.
2 True CGM with alarms. .
3 Configurable graph reports on the Vibe.
4 Can extend sensor life by re-starting.
5 Accurate readings with the neccessary calibrations.

The Bad.
1 Much More expensive than Libre.
2 Sensor battery in Canada $800, will last 6-8 months.
3 Receiver cost $500, approx.
4 Sensor cost $100 + each.
5 Need to calibrate.

Bottom line, the G4 is a better technology but more expensive than the Libre.
The Libre can do the job but there are no alarms.


How long are the dexcom 5 sensor lasting for you. How to you get around the system wanting you to change sensors every 7 days? I have read where some people get 3 weeks out of their sensors. How do they get around the g5 system requiring a 7 day change. Perplexed


Dexcom 5 and Dexcom 4 involve 2 different transmitters, and corresponding receiver.
But they both use the same G4/5 sensor.

In both cases, after the 7 day sensor use, you keep that sensor attached to the transmitter. On the receiver, use the menu option to stop sensor if it didn’t do so already. Then just do start sensor without actually changing the sensor.

I typically stop the sensor prior to normal end time, if it is a more convenient time. So not sure if you have use the menu choice to stop, if the time has really passed the full 7 days.

I get 14-21 days per sensor using G4.


Thanks so much, I will give it a try. The sensor are so expensive.

Ronnie Roberts | Territory Manager

3939 Underwood Dr. | Flowood, MS 39232

O 662.836.7661 | M 662.836.7661


It is near the end of 2018 so I am tardy to this topic. I have used the 10 day Libre system since August of this year but with short gaps of use.

While extremely happy to have some type of CGM information, I find the Libre system disappointing in several areas. I have had several sensors fail before the 10 days, one failed immediately upon the 12 hour warm up completed, one failed to apply and stuck in the applicator, with only about 50% of sensors actually making it to the end of the 10 day period. In addition, the values are very inconsistent and erroneous, discussed in other topics, so I won’t elaborate on that matter here. Still nice to get trends and direction of levels.

Hearing just recently that the Dexcom 5 has been approved for Medicare patients, I thought maybe I would try it. NOT SO FAST !!!

It has NOT been approved for Medicare patients covered through a Medicare ADVANTAGE program. ONLY approved for straight, original Medicare. That knocked me out of getting a chance to try anything other than the Libre system.

It also appears that application of the Libre sensors is a lot quicker and easier than application of a Dexcom sensor and transmitter.

For those that have used both a Dexcom and a Libre, did you find the Dexcom to be vastly more accurate? Do you have access to print a log of all your values under the Dexcom system? Or just a graph?

One last question. Maybe I should put it in a separate topic. For those Medicare age, can you clarify when “medicare” applies to any type of medicare coverage or when it applies only to straight up Medicare, excluding Advantage plans.