Dexcom G6 Sensors Question

Greetings,
I hope this isn’t a repeat topic.

Here’s the backstory:
I am having an issue with receiving dexcom sensors timely… it has to be an issue with insurance and the supply company. I’ve been on the phone countless hours with my Endo’s office, Dexcom reps, and the supply company… as nice as everyone is, there is still a break in time from when my box of 3 sensors is done, and the next box arrives. Usually if my last sensor ends, I’m waiting easily 7-14 days before the new box arrives.

What I did, after being beyond frustrated, was of course just go back to test strips until they arrive. The nerve of me, I would think, to act like I’m too good to go back to checking myself manually, just because I’ve been fortunate enough to have access to technology. However I have had people tell me, to be more forceful, don’t tolerate that, you’re paying for them, they are dropping the ball… etc etc. I don’t know that being more aggressive on the phone will get me anywhere.

This is the current situation:
So this is what I have decided to do. Forget all of the powers that be right now. I did not start my last sensor because I’m waiting for the new box to arrive. So basically I’ve been using test strips for almost a month already. The goal is, when I finally get my new box of three, the one I didn’t use yet will become the sensor I can use between boxes.

I would like to know, where is the best place/site to purchase a box? I know they are really really expensive, but, I’d like to save up and have a box to get through times like this.

Thank you for listening!

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You can get sensors and transmitters at Costco pharmacies. You don’t need to be a member. I don’t get mine there but know many who do.

I’m sorry, I can’t provide a supply source recommendation to you since I only know about my source using my eligibility for Medicare.

I just want to say that I think your strategy to maintain and build a supply buffer is a good one. Once you get a few sensors ahead, your sense of vulnerability will diminish.

That supply buffer will continue to roll forward with you. When I decided to switch to the G6 version, I still was using the surplus I built up of the G5 sensors. I was receiving regular shipments of the new G6 while using the remaining G5 sensors.

That meant that I built up a nice buffer of G6 sensors that I enjoy today. I expect to use that tactic when Dexcom rolls out the G7 in the next year or so. While I won’t be an early adopter of the newest sensor, I can relax knowing that I enjoy several spares on my shelf.

In fact, if you decided to forgo sensors for a month while still receiving new spares, you could build up a month’s buffer and never have to do that again. Just a thought.

Also, I would aggressively enforce the 10-day warranty that Dexcom extends. If your sensor fails before 10 days, I would consistently call that in and get a replacement. Then, if you already received say, six days of sensor service, then that six days would accrue to your side of the ledger and increase your supply buffer.

There are other people here who must self-fund sensors so I expect you will get some good supply source recommendations. Good luck and please report your experience going forward.

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Thank you!! I will try there.

Wow thank you! I like that idea of a supply buffer. I actually have considered going longer without using them, which I know is a lot less expensive than purchasing them. And I will update!!

Restarts!!! I even had extra sensors I gave to someone that needed them. If you restart you can build up a nice cushion!

This is an explanation and video to show how. A guitar pick works really well.

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I don’t understand why this happens. When see I’m down to 2 sensors, I call dexcom and order new ones. I get 9 at a time, but it hardly matters if you go 90 days or 30, you just need to do it more often.
My sensors pretty much always come in time. The only time they didn’t is when I just forgot to order them, and they overnighted them for 15 dollars or something like that.

Maybe I’m just lucky to maybe it’s because I live close to a large city, or because I live near Where they are made?

Not really sure, I’m just surprised by how many people struggle with this same issue so much.

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This is def worth a try! Thank you

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This is why I extend sensors 15-20 days. I currently have built up a 5 month supply with more coming in 3 weeks.

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My insurance doesn’t cover CGM yet, so I have to self fund. The best option I’ve found is Sam’s Club pharmacy with the Plus level mentorship. That’s the $100/year membership they comes with free shipping for most items and other perks, along with big pharmacy savings. We buy that membership anyway, but even if we didn’t, it would pay for itself in the first Dexcom order.

I pay $284 per box of 3 sensors and $125 per transmitter. I believe there are greater savings if you buy in bulk. Those are cash prices without insurance, but you’ll still need your doctor to send in another prescription.

I also restart sensors to extend the life of each. I get 25-30 days generally per sensor. Though it does seem rare to be able to get quite that long. Seems most are able to get 14+ days, though. The better your control, the longer they last, plus some other things you can’t control play a part.

Restarting a sensor is really easy, once you learn the trick of removing the transmitter without damaging the implanted sensor. It’s easiest if you can practice on all old sensor after you take it off, but before you snap it in half to remove the transmitter. If you look at the plastic housing that holds the transmitter in place, you’ll see some vertical cutouts, where you would generally break the sensor. Right next to the cutouts, closer to the skinny end, you’ll see a metal clip. One on each half of the transmitter. Those little metal clips hold onto divots on the transmitter. The transmitter is essentially spring-loaded into the sensor. If you can wedge something thin and flexible in between the clips and the transmitter, the transmitter will pop right out of the sensor while leaving the sensor perfectly in tact. Some options for stiff, thin, and flexible things you can use include test strips, guitar picks, laminated insurance cards, and those snappy tear-drop shaped hair clips. When the clip is open, the wide end of the clip works like a dream.

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  1. Stop current cgm session or wait for it to expire in it’s own.

  2. Insert a thin, stiff, flexible item between transmitter and plastic housing until you hear a “click”. Repeat on other side.

  3. Remove transmitter and clean the 2 silver spots with an alcohol wipe.

  4. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and not 1 second less.

  5. Reinsert transmitter.

  6. Restart the sensor using the code you hopefully saved from the first time you started it. It helps to take a picture when you start a brand new sensor to reference it later. If you don’t have the original code, you’ll have to start without it… Which will ask your food initial calibrations, and then again twice a day for the duration of that sensor… Just like the G5.

  7. While the sensor is warming up, I highly suggest you try to aim your blood sugar to be as close to 100mg/dl as possible when the warmup period ends. Restarted sensors read very high at first. That 100 benchmark will make calibrating easier on you.

  8. Calibrate the Dexcom cautiously. You must be flat/stable and in range when doing so. It doesn’t like big changes made too often. I would suggest trying to enter a new value about 30% different than what the Dexcom states. You can enter a new calibration once every 25 minutes until it’s properly realigned.

  9. Once it’s calibrated, it should work just as a fresh sensor would.

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Wow so helpful. I almost to just want to start the sensor I have just to see if I can extend it!! Thank you!

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@Timothy I think Dexcom is getting out of the supply side of things. They made a statement to that effect. They want to concentrate on development etc.

I get mine from ADS Advanced Medical Supply. I get sent a text do I need them, I respond yes and I get a 3 months supply before the 90 days starts. It’s very easy and painless lol.

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I agree, and they focused first at getting suppliers for Medicare plans.

For DME coverage, it’s challenging to find supplier that is set up for Dexcom products for a given insurance plan. Sometimes Dexcom can help or in my case, I found someone at my insurance who knew who to contact. CCS Medical was my only choice for DME coverage in 2019. But Dexcom has been working hard to get more pharmacy plans to cover, so in 2020 I learned my insurance changed from Caremark PBM to Express Scripts, and now Dexcom is covered at local pharmacy. I use Costco, and local pickup ready within 1-2 days.

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I also did this. I used up all my G4’s before I fired up the new G6. So I had a head start. I also get far ahead when I do clinical trials that use Dexcom’s. So when I did the stem cell study which was almost 2 years, i actually had to turn off my orders because they were getting out of hand. So for some who have access to clinical trials, they can stockpile that way.

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I get mine directly from Dexcom. I signed up for the subscription (or whatever its called) so they send them out automatically and come well before I need them. I’m in Canada, if that makes a difference.

@Hakima, I am having the exact same problem, having to wait about 10 days for a new supply of Dex G6 sensors. I cannot use the G6 sensors beyond the 10 day limit because of arthritis in my hands, which makes it so difficult to remove the transmitter.
I have saved some old G5 sensors, and I have the other equipment that still works. I use the G5 until the G6 sensors arrive.

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There is a way to file down the transmitter so it oops out easily.
I’ll post the video when I find it.

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Find a good supply company. I hated the first one I had. I asked a colleague who he was using, knowing we had the same insurance. He liked them well enough so I made the change. I just received a transmitter via automatic ordering more than 3 weeks before I need it. The sensors come early too. It’s a hassle to change companies but it was definitely worth it.

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I totally understand what you are going through. When I went on Medicare I was waiting just like that. It was incredibly stressful. And I don’t agree with your statement “the nerve of me thinking I’m too good for using test strips” (or something like that). You do get dependent on the CGM. It is a lifesaver especially if you go low and don’t have any warning. I was so stressed about it, it was affecting my BP! You can buy sensors from Dexcom for around $120 each which is what I almost did just to relieve the stress. But then I found some really useful info on this site that I am forever grateful for. If you search you can find it too - I’m not familiar enough with the site to tell you where to look. But you can make each sensor last longer. I have read about people getting 30 days out of them. I have been successful storing up about 5 extra this way which has made a significant difference in my life! I too, spent untold hours and days on the phone trying to figure it all out after stopping my private insurance which basically sent them whenever I needed them. I had no idea Medicare won’t let you even order them until you have 10 days left and then only at day 31 since the last order. Doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that means you will be without. So search this site for “making sensors last longer “ or something like that. And perhaps someone else here can chime in with a better option. Hope you can figure something out. It isn’t right for us to deal with this. Technology o ly works if we can consistently use it!

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Your post didn’t indicate if your insurance is through an employer or if you are under Medicare. If you are under Medicare, I would definitely suggest researching a different plan during the next enrollment period. (I did that, with great success) That doesn’t help if you are insured by an employer. Would you insurance allow you to use a different supplier? You many be able to get your sensor orders on an automatic refill basis through a supplier rather than directly from DexCom. I have always found it interesting that our employers/insurance companies want us to do things to stay healthy, but when it comes to providing things such as sensors, they have many excuses/ways to stall. You have received many valuable responses to your post from Forum members. Good luck!

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