Dexcom 4 transmitter life

I know the transmitter on my Dexcom G4 is out of warranty after 6 months, and I've had mine for 8, with no problems yet. I called my insurance company to see how much it would be for a new one (I figured it would be better to have one around as a backup) and I was told it was $1,600, $1,140 with my insurer's negotiated price.

That's a lot of money. I decided it was better for me financially to just wait until the transmitter (NOT the sensor) dies and then replace. How long have other people's transmitters lasted?

NOT sensors. Transmitters. Thank you!

My first transmitter lasted nine months. Be aware that when the G4 receiver alarms to warn you of a low battery in the transmitter, you will have about one week, maybe less, before it fails completely.

My insurance pays for another transmitter once the warranty expires, so I try to keep a fresh one in reserve. That way I won't be in a big rush to get a refill or have to live without the CGM data while the doctor office/insurance company/shipper bureaucracy goes through its paces.

Just looked at my last explanation of benefits for the last transmitter I received. It gave the bill amount that the insurer received from Dexcom at $799. That was knocked down to $399.75 and I paid out of pocket $79.95. The prices you quote are much higher. Are you sure they quoted just the transmitter? Insurance clerks can sometimes confuse receiver, transmitter, and sensor with the whole system price.

My last one went for about a year! But like Terry said below, once it's about to die, you maybe have a week to get a new one. The Dexcom person I talked to said he has seen a big range--sometimes they last the 6 months, sometimes over a year. I was so scared to go on vacation last month because I thought mine had a chance of dying (about 8 months old). But yes, that is a lot of money to pay so I understand you want to use it until the end of its life!

That's what I had read too - that for most people they were saying it was somewhere in the $700s - hence part of my confusion. That's a good idea to call and double check that I was quoted for just the transmitter. I usually can't complain about my insurance. I paid zero to get the system, zero for the sensor refills every quarter (and I know how much those cost) but then the transmitter isn't covered at all? I don't think that makes any sense.

So I called, thinking that maybe there was some sort of mistake, and nope. For just the transmitter, it's $1,140 with my "insurance negotiated price." When I said no they transferred me to several people who all tried to convince me to buy it "because it will go against your deductible" instead of on the open market. They also said it was due to the way that my insurer had coded it.

I talked to my HR department and they more or less shrugged.

Who did you talk to? Dexcom or your insurance company? The price you were given sounds like the cost of a starter kit. As in transmitter, receiver and a sensor or two. Ask dexcom what the proper coding would be and then go back to your insurance. You may need to ask for a supervisor to get this straightened out.

I agree! I spoke to three different people, including a supervisor. Insurance company's subcontractor for medical supplies and the insurance company. The starter kit and sensors are covered 100% so this is what I actually have to pay for I guess.

That's shocking and price gouging. You can buy the transmitter for about half that on the open market:

I think they are using the wrong product code. You may need to get Doc to write for replasement transmitter only. Definintly should not be $1400 for transmitter only.

I'm on month 15 with my first one. Receiver says the battery is still OK.

I have had 3 sensors now from the last two boxes of 8 come up "Sensor Failed" after applying fresh and starting. Fortunately, Dexcom replaced them.

I should probably go ahead and order the new transmitter now, given how long this one's been in the saddle.

Well, of course immediately upon posting this, I started having problems.

Time for a new sensor, went through the usual procedure. Sensor failed during warmup. Tried 3 times.

Put another one on. Failed during warmup. Twice.

Receiver says the battery is still "OK", but I don't trust it, given how long I've had it, and the recent results with two sensors. Also, not sure if the battery status is even updated when there is not an active sensor.

Waiting for a call back from Dexcom to get a new one.

UPDATE: I contacted my insurer, Cigna, and told them what had happened with the durable medical goods supplier, EdgePark. They looked at my policy and said that the transmitter is supposed to be covered, the same as the other components. They even gave me the exact billing code that they should use. I called EdgePark back and supposedly there is no problem now. We'll see if/when it actually arrives.