I was wondering if anyone has their glucose tablets or gel tubes covered by health insurance? Gel tubes are rare where I live and very expensive. However, they are my new favorite source of recovery...especially in bed at night or while driving. I've paid $4-$5 dollars per a tube. any suggestions?
As far as I know they're not covered, but I think I will call my insurance now to make sure... I do declare every out of pocket D expense as a tax deduction though. Maybe you can order them online cheaper?
It depends on your plan. Ours covered until we had to change plans.
Most plans will not pay for over the counter things like glucose tabs. And those that do will almost always require a doctors prescription. My plan will technically cover these sorts of items, but the system is rigged to "rip me off" by charging more in co-pay for the item than I would pay just buying it myself. So in my case, I have found that the cheapest source of glucose is actually candy. Candies like Sweet Tarts and Smarties are basically pure glucose (dextrose), the same thing in glucose tabs and gel tubes. And they are a lot cheaper. I actually sneak around after valentines day looking for big bags of little individually wrapped sweet tarts that are discounted.
Can you use something else if they are that expensive? Acidrock carries around jellybeans; 1 bean = 1 carb. I carry around lifesaver; 1 lifesaver = 2.5 carbs. I get 20 packs of lifesavers (12 lifesavers per pack) for about $7.50 from Sams club. That comes to $0.38 per pack and I get 2 hypo treatments (15 carbs) out of them.
I would like to thank everyone for their responses.
Candy (like jelly beans) does sound like an affordable option.
I guess I've always used glucose tablets and gel packs b/c that is what my doctor told me to use. I suppose I assumed the formal packaging and the term "glucose" meant my body didn't have to break down any complex sugars and therefore delay glucose absorption. am I wrong about this?
Never thought to look into it. I actually dislike both of those and tend to other forms of sugar, which work very well for me.
But, I won't let the med supplier send me batteries or alcohol wipes--the price they charge is such a rip off for my insurer that it add a lot to the cost of health insurance.
Yes, simple carbs are better than complex carbs, but it is also about where the simple carbs come from. Quick absorption is the key, that is why glucose tabs are made from Glucose. Glucose has a glycemic index of 100, while fructose only has an index of perhaps 25. And unfortunately, table sugar (sucrose) is half glucose/half fructose, so glucose is better than table sugar. So even though a candy may be sweet, it doesn't mean that it is necessarily optimal for treating a low. It is best to look for a candy that has Glucose (also called Dextrose) as a first ingredient. And it is also important to note that "corn syrup" may well represent a syrup that is nearly all glucose, but we often just don't know. Why industry makes high fructose corn syrup from corn syrup is a mystery to me. Why pay to make something harmful like that?
ps. Refined white wheat flour has a glycemic index nearly as high as Glucose, it just looks funny when you eat a tablespoon (but actually white bread can work well).
I always paid out of pocket for my glucose tablets and one day I was reviewing my insurance coverage and noticed they would cover it. I've paid as little as $3.00 for a 3 month supply and the last time I filled it was $26 for a 3 month supply. I'm not sure what happened there if they stopped covering it or what. I need to contact the pharmacy to find out why there was a rise in cost.
What about something like icing sugar? Wouldn't that have a higher GI since the particles are smaller and therefore more easily absorbed?
I asked my CDE if they had ever written an rx for glucose tablets, but she said no. Also my insurance company which covers the Dexcom CGMS 100% with no co-pay, the Omnipod Pump 100% with no co-pay, and insulin at $20 a month does not list them on the prescriptions covered.
Personally I recently started using sweetened banana chips for lows. Each chip has 1 gram of carbs, I like them better than glucose tablets or gel and they taste better in my opinion. For me they work equally as quickly as glucose tablets and cost a lot less.
jeffri kay, you are not wrong about the way "glucose" tabs and gels work. They are the fastest acting remedy for a low.
I also use glucose tabs and gels if needed. I just pay for them out of pocket where I live they are not very expensive I don't need them every day (thank goodness!). 5 bucks for a tube of tabs is an outrageous price! I can get a whole bottle for that.
You could ask your doc for an RX and then you might get insurance to cover them. It's worth a try.
Even though I suppose juice is fructose, it is what I use when I'm having a severe low... it always works the fastest for me- oj usually, but apple juice worked for me last time. First I take candy,(sweet tarts, smarties, round candy, jolly ranchers, if it's not bad, or fruit. If it seems worse or is getting worse then glucose tabs since they do work faster than candy for me and then juice if nothing else it working and I'm sinking really fast. Now I will just go for the juice or a glucose drink if I have that feeling- I bought some of those too.. I think liquid is just faster and fruit juice is very high in sugar. Regular soda works well too.. I once drank some of my fav dandelion burdock soda last summer for a low low... it has 37 grams per bottle... I didn't drink the whole bottle but I ended up at 227 or so from a low of 22! I still have two bottles left and they're now in clear view in case I need them. Glucose, as someone said, works on every cell in your body.. so I'm not sure why juice is the only thing that will get me out of a severe low.
Pixie Stix are cheap and contain 11g carbs per stick dextrose and also can be placed under the tongue or between the lip & gums to dissolve in an emergency situation.
I use Skittles 1 carb per piece (less severe low) I bought the valentine’s discount box. I also use Hammer Nutrition gel which has maltodextrin and a GI of between 85-105 for more severe lows. Soda or pop works very well too.