Lesson Learned: Don't wait on Transmitter Batteries


Yes, this is a concern of mine, too. We don’t have the G5 in Canada, but even if we did, I wouldn’t be upgrading. I pay for everything myself, so I stretch all CGM supplies to their max. Otherwise, it would be unaffordable for me.


My guess is that this was a G4 transmitter, as @rgcainmd suggests. The G4 transmitters have a six-month warranty (in that if it dies before six months is up they will replace it for free), but it will run for significantly longer than that. My first G4 transmitter lasted 13 months, and I’m hoping my second one (the one I’m currently using) lasts that long as well.


If I understand you correctly, then I’m confused. If you “use the second transmitter until it reaches day 60 or 70 or so, then call it in”, I’m unclear about how you will receive a replacement free of charge before the 90 days is actually up, because it will still be working. Dexcom doesn’t replace non-defective transmitters free of charge. And, perhaps because a handful of dishonest people have lied about sensors and transmitters malfunctioning in order to get some “free-bees”, they now require you to mail them the defective items (ostensibly so they can figure out what went wrong to improve quality control). Also, I’m not sure you can “trade in” a G5 transmitter for a free-of-charge G4 transmitter. A G4 transmitter is approximately twice the cost of a G5 because it lasts at least twice as long. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to imply that you are a liar or a cheater. (You strike me as a very honest, hard-working kind of guy!) I’m just not following what you posted.


The person I spoke with said we are supposed to “call for replacement” after receiving the first warning that the battery is about to be up in x number of weeks or days, or whatever it is. That’s what we plan to do. I’m not looking for “freebies”…I just want my transmitter replaced within the 90 day window (while it’s still covered by warranty.)


lol…I didn’t say anything about a G4 transmitter…why would I want a G4 transmitter? I have a G5…


I feel like Ashton Kutcher is about to step out from the shadows and inform me that I’m being punked…I’m usually VERY easy to understand…it seems like communicating here isn’t the easiest thing to do!!!


I agree with @rgcainmd. Dexcom doesn’t replace transmitters for free unless the one in use is defective during its warranty period. That’s the whole point of a warranty, just in case products are defective.

This is so that you will have an uninterrupted use of your Dexcom. However, you’ll have to pay for the new transmitter, it will not be a free replacement. If Dexcom handed out free replacements, trust me, all of us would be going for them.


This is so that you will have an uninterrupted use of your Dexcom. However, you’ll have to pay for the new transmitter, it will not be a free replacement. If Dexcom handed out free replacements, trust me, all of us would be going for them.

The difference is that…inside the 90 day window MY INSURANCE is going to be picking up the tab. outside the 90 day window, I will be picking up the tab. I may pay 10%, but not 100.

At least…I HOPE my insurance is going to be picking up the tab…being that this is the first time we’ve ever done a “transition” as far as transmitters go, I am only guessing this is the case. I certainly hope so; otherwise, CGM won’t be a feasible long term thing because I don’t have $500 - $1000 extra dollars to dole out every 3 months.


Sometimes companies like Dexcom have special programs to enable affordability for certain demographic circumstances. Maybe calling or writing Dexcom with this question could uncover a resource that you’re aware of.


Insurance is needlessly complicated but my experience is that I become eligible for insurance reimbursement based on the warranty schedule. As soon as I fall out of the warranty period my insurance will pay for a replacement. It does not penalize me for purchasing after the warranty expires. In fact it makes me wait until the warranty expires (or within a reasonable grace period) for insurance coverage of the item. Dexcom or other supplier will usually verify insurance coverage before they will ship.


What Terry4 said ^^^^.

Health insurance covers a percentage of the cost (once you’ve met your yearly deductible) whether it is within the warranty period or not. (They’d actually prefer it if you waited long past the 112-day life of the G5 transmitter before ordering a new one because that means they have to shell out money less often). But insurance doesn’t cover a higher percentage if you order one before the 90 days is up, nor do they not cover more G5 transmitters or cover a lower percentage of the cost after 90 days. I guess I’m just confused by your use of the word “replacement”. Yes, the new G5 transmitter “replaces” the one that died because its days were (quite literally) numbered. But it is not a “replacement” in the sense that it is replacing a defective transmitter. The bottom line is that, if your insurance covers a percentage of the cost of the Dexcom system, it does so regardless of exactly when you order more G5 transmitters. But they aren’t free and insurance doesn’t cover 100% of the cost (unless you have one of those rare policies where you meet some astronomical catastrophic amount after which 100% of everything is covered by insurance for the remainder of the year.) As a matter of fact, there is a limit to how early insurance will even pony up their percentage for a new G5 transmitter because they don’t want you stockpiling them…

ETA: I’m honestly not arguing for the sake of argument. I just don’t want to see you be rudely “surprised” when your insurance doesn’t pick up 100% of the cost of a new G5 transmitter just because you order one before 90 days is up. A “free replacement” only occurs if you can prove that your transmitter died before 90 days is up. And in that case, it is not your insurance that covers the cost, it is Dexcom.


Replacement, as in…I had two, now I have only one…so I want to “replace” the one I lost so that I can get back to two again. It’s really that simple. :smiley:


Also…90 days IS up…which is why I started this whole post in the first place. It LITERALLY DIED (transmitter battery stopped), so that puts it at 112 days or so. Confirmed we started using it at the end of April.


You’re now on the 2nd transmitter of your first shipment. If you call a couple of weeks before it’s due to expire (the battery dies), Dexcom will contact your insurance to verify benefits, possibly obtain a new Rx (unless your endo wrote the original Rx for 4 transmitters for 1 year, & you will be responsible for your remaining deductible (if any) plus your co-insurance amount. In or out of warranty only pertains to defects, & to persuade the insurance to cover the new transmitters. Most insurance plans will not cover replacement of an in-warranty device.

ETA: I’m not sure about the G5, but the G4 warranty starts the day Dexcom ships it out, not the day you start using it. You might want to check that date. If you get your supplies directly from Dexcom, there’s an easy way to keep track of the warranty dates & eligibility dates. You can create an account on Dexcom’s website (look for the “order supplies” button. Each part of the system will display, along with the reorder eligibility date.


No, that’s backward. Inside 90 days Dexcom covers replacement. After 90 days, you & your insurance pay.


My daughter also has BCBS health insurance. I realize that not all BCBS policies are created equal (we have BCBS Federal), but my daughter’s BCBS will not cover their part of the cost of another 2 G5 transmitters until after it is getting close to 90 days on the second transmitter. In other words, you get 2 transmitters, but they won’t cover just one when it reaches 90 to 112 days. They make you wait until you are nearing the end of the life of your second transmitter. Only then will they cover part of the cost of another 2 transmitters. It sucks not having an additional transmitter (once you are on your second) in the event one fails before 90 days is up.


Cool. Either way we will be fine. We used our first apparently for over 100 days (can’t believe we’ve been living with this for that long already), and we just started our second on 8/27, so we’ll be good to go in another couple months.



You know what they say: “Time flies when you’re dealing with D.” :disappointed:

Keep up the good work! Your son is blessed to have you and your wife as parents! :family:


Time flies like an arrow
Fruit flies like a banana


That’s a double (triple?) entendre once you stop and think about it… :pensive: