Did I choose the best meter?

I was diagnosed in April 09 and my doctor gave me a Freestyle Lite and a prescription for the strips and lancets. When I got the prescription filled through my mail order pharmacy (Caremark), it cost me $125 for 200 strips and when I asked why it cost so much I was told because the Freestyle Lite is not on my provider’s “formulary list”. What is on the formulary list is the Accu-Check meters. I was given a choice of the AccuCheck One Touch Ultra Mini; the AccuCheck One Touch Ultra Two; the AccuCheck Aviva; or the AccuCheck Compact Plus. I chose the Compact Plus, did I make a wise choice? Since the Freestyle Lite is the only meter I’ve ever had, I don’t have much experience with meters. The Compact Plus comes with a drum of 17 preloaded strips, that appeals to me! Just wanted to ask you more “experienced” diabetics if I made a good choice. Thanks much!

I would find out which one the insurance pays the most toward the strips and pick that one! I’ve had several different ones (have to change every time I change insurance, because it seems they all support different ones) and they all do the job.

Hi Patricia,

I agree with Ellie - unless you get a “lemon” (never happened to me), I don’t find that big a difference between the various meters so I would go for the best deal with your insurance. Also, outside my insurance, I bought a cheapo Reli-On from Wal-Mart ($10) and their strips, which are very cheap compared to the “big guys.” I do this so I’m never out of strips.

Also, if you find you’re testing a lot - one of the best ways to maintain tight control and see how different foods / situations affect your BG - you may need to ask your doctor for a quantity override so your insurance will cover more than 200 (your co-pay will be a bit higher, but nothing like buying them on your own). I find I test anywhere from 9 to 12 times a day, depending.


I think my co-pay on any of the AccuCheck strips will be $75 for 90 day supply. I paid $125 co-pay for the Freestyle strips.

Wow, I’ve never tested 9 to 12 times a day! My doctor told me 2 times a day. Sometimes I’ll test 3 or 4 times, if I’m trying out some new or different food items. But then the highest my bg has ever been is 174. Who knows, it might be going higher throughout the day if I was testing more often I would know that I guess. So far I’ve not run out of strips. My insurance lets me refill the prescription long before I get to the end.

Some insurance companies may have durable medical equipment supplers that provide diabetic testing supplies at little or no copay. Check into this with your insurance company.

I have a high deductible insurance plan so basically I pay out of pocket for all my strips. I use a One Touch which is fairly expensive $103 per 100 at the pharmacy with my prescription. I went online at Health Warehouse.com and they have all types of strip for at least 25 % cheaper or more. Free shipping, too. Someone suggested that Walmart has the cheapest strips. I think most meter are pretty reliable unless you get a lemon. Most doctors will tell T 2 it’s not necessary to test as often as T 1’s. When you are first dx it is good to see how food affects your bg. I would test two hours after your meals to see what your bg is. It is best to keep it below 140 at 2 hours. Keep a notebook of foods that you get real good numbers with. This becomes your friendly food list. As time goes on when you eat something you kind of know what your numbers will be and don’t need to test as often. If you ever feel lightheaded or dizzy it is a good idea to test to see if you are low. Most meds t 2’s take don’t cause lows but some do so it is good to be aware of it and alway carry glucose tabs or some form of carb with you.

Can you buy strips without a prescription? I was under the impression that I had to have a prescription. I’ll have to look into it, possibly I could buy them cheaper on-line than I am getting through my insurance company. I’ve done pretty good with the 2 hour testing on different foods. I make lots of notes right in the little book where I write down my numbers. If I try a new food, then when I test and write down the number, I’ll make a note of what I ate. I also have a program called NutriBase where I can record everything I eat, it tracks all the nutrition levels, then I can enter my bg numbers, and actually do a report where it shows me what I ate each day and what my bg numbers were. Only problem is, it’s a little cumbersome to maintain…lots of data entry and sometimes I get slack about that! Thanks for your input, Jeannie, I see a lot of your posts on another board, you always seem very knowledgeable. People like you have really helped me learn a lot since my diagnosis.

Patricia - the one thing you have to think about - is that the Freestyle Lite (I use it) - uses the least amount of blood then other meters - and if you test frequently - your fingers/forearms will thank you. So, maybe the extra cost of the strips will outweight what you are having to pay over and above what your insurance costs. Here in Canada - I pay $200 for 200 strips!!! I have private insurance though thru’ my hubby’s work - but not sure if I went to the government health care system they’d be covered. I’ve been using the Freestyle line for about … thinking hard here - did you notice the lights dimming in your neck of the woods? - for about 10 years now.

Also, the most important thing - use whatever meter that will make you comfortable with testing your blood sugars. That’s the most important thing - right guys?

I have a Freestyle lite also,it came with a card called the Freestyle promise program. All I pay is 15$ for my strips! Go to the website and sign up for it! Abbot.com or just type in freestyle lite meter,either one should get you there. With it you can also talk to a CDE. It’s a great program. I have several meters and my Freestyle always gives me the lowest #'s

I use a Compact Plus and I love it. I find it a little bulky to pack around so I use an Ultra mini when I am out and about. I have found that most meters are reliable so you need to look at what each has to offer that you need or want.

Hi Patricia -

Yes, that is the “party line” from many docs/educators - but if you talk to many of the diabetics on this site, you’ll learn that a lot of us test, test, test - for the simple reason that tight control is the best way to avoid long term (and very serious) complications.

I looked at the Freestyle promise program. But it looks like you aren’t eligible if you have medical insurance, which I do. Here’s the wording at the bottom of the page:
“co-pay savings and free meter offer is not valid for persons eligible for reimbursement of this product, in whole or in part, by an insurance company or other third-party payer.”

Yes, you can buy strips without an RX, but then you’re on your own for the cost.

You might be interested in this site - http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/ - which explains why testing both 1 hour and 2 hours after eating gives you a good picture.

I have a spiral notebook in which I write everything - food, BG, medicine, exercise, etc. I also use fitday.com - it’s fairly easy to maintain.

And that’s why we’re all here - to help each other!


I guess I really don’t understand what you are saying, because I have never “run out of time” and had to reload the test strip when I’ve been testing. I guess I didn’t understand that there’s a time limit? I keep my meter on the breakfast bar in my kitchen and I just sit down there to test every time. It’s usually so quick, I’ve never been interrupted. Thanks for the information though, I’m still learning!

That’s odd. I enjoy the Promise discount subtracted from my copay. Have always had insurance and have been getting $50 off each Rx for about a year now.

I use about 400 strips per month and had to get an override on the quantity restrictions. My insurance (a BCBS) is always sending me stuff on One Touch and Accu Check and offering free meters because the strips are cheaper, but I like Freestyle and use an insulin pump and continuous monitor that require Freestyle, so I refuse to switch. That being said, for 400 strips a month, I pay less than $30 after the Promise discounts.

My endo swears the Accu Chek Aviva is the most accurate, but who knows:) All meters are allowed a margin of error of ± 20%, which is really inaccurate particularly for those us using insulin.

I got a free One Touch, used Freestyle Freedom & later Accu Chek Aviva. Like Accu Chek the best. Accu Chek needs very little blood & I really like the Accu Chek lancing device. Accu Chek customer service is great. I had test strips without the coding key that pops into the meter. They overnighted 50 strips to me.

All the companies have free offers pretty frequently. It’s worth it just to get the free strips that come with it. Sometimes it’s only 10 strips, but the last Accu Chek deal came with 50. As the others mentioned, test a lot. Doctors do Type 2s a disservice by not telling them to test frequently.