Low Cost Test Strips

It is true if you have CGM, medicare will not cover test strips. Personally, I have found CGM to be too inaccurate for me to use, especially for insulin dosing. The instrument itself is accurate. It is the methodology that is inaccurate. The instrument accurately measures interstitial glucose (the glucose in the fluid between the cells). However, interstitial glucose may not correlate with blood glucose.

So, if you want to stay on CGM and purchase your own test strips, I have found the Contour Next test strips on Amazon for $30/100.


Not true - I am on medicare and medicare covers my test strips as part of the medicare monthly medicare subscription package. I eat, dose MDI, and exercise 100% based the results of my Dexcom CGM and get totally awesome results. It does take some time, training and experimentation to properly know how to use a Dexcom CGM, but once the knowledge is there, no amount of finger sticks can achieve the same results.

Walmart offers their ReliOn strips for $18/100, https://www.walmart.com/ip/ReliOn-Prime-Blood-Glucose-Test-Strips-100-Ct/38423728 .

My Medicare Advantage Plan has no co-pay when I order a month supply (150) of my ContourNext strips under Part B. However, I had to get a pre-approval for the ContourNext brand.

Once the pharmacy used part D and wanted a$30 co-pay.

Not on Medicare (yet) but I’ve been self funding my test strips on Amazon for a few years. The reason for this is my (private) insurance insisted on OneTouch strips and meter, which I found to be too expensive when run through the insurance/pharmacy benefit. My co-pay was about $25/100 strips for OneTouch. Contour Next used to be close to $20/100 on Amazon, so I switched, but now is close to (or above) $30/100.

I am a firm believer in using test strips to supplement whatever CGM one has…seems pretty essential to be double checking some of the BG’s the CGM reports. Has anybody found that the Wal-Mart Relion is as accurate and reliable as the Contour Next?

I’ve gone that route also, although I’m not yet on medicare, my lousy insurance doesn’t want to pay for the Contour Next strips. However, I found that every order came with packages with yellow warning labels stating “For Medicare Users Only” . This makes me think that those Amazon sellers are cheating the medicare system and illegally selling their surplus strips. I have trouble buying from those sellers. We all pay when people cheat the system, even when the system is poorly run and costs are out of control. Sorry for getting up on my soap box. I’ll step off now.


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I do not order my test strips from Dexcom but through my Walgreens and have not had any problems with Medicare paying both. My conclusion is that when Dexcom bills Medicare for the sensors and test strips they do so on one invoice which might cause a problem for some reason.

The medicare rule of CGM or test strips is new this year. Probably not all medicare workers are aware of it.


Are you sure you are seeing this issue with Amazon. It is very expensive to set up and maintain an Amazon seller account and a seller gets a lifetime ban from selling there if caught selling grey goods, items not for re-sale, etc. I would totally believe your claim for items on Craigslist and eBay but find it dubious that you are seeing this on Amazon. If you do get a shipment that is for Medicare Users Only on Amazon, I would report it to Amazon and they will follow up. An Amazon vendor, however, would be nuts to even attempt this based on the consequences.

I’ve bought Contour Next strips regularly on Amazon over the past few years and most of them (including my most recent batch a couple weeks ago) arrived with this on the label:

I just checked out the listings on Amazon and looked at the 1-start feedbacks and customers have given feedback that the test strips are for Medicare/Medicaid Beneficiaries ONLY. Unfortunately these customers do not realize that Amazon does not read the reviews. What you should do is submit a violation of terms of service. Here is the link:


Or you can go to:

Report a buyer violation

  1. Go to Contact us.
  2. Select Other.
  3. Select Report a violation .
  4. Enter the appropriate information.

That helps protect the entire community

One of my old companies paid for livongo, which is a monthly unlimited test strip supply company, which seemed interesting, there appears to be at least 4 of them, livongo used 1 microliter which is similar to the 1990’s one touch ultra, but Dario health is cheaper and uses. 3 microliters, which is the same as the freestyle lite…and $25 per month for unlimited based on your usage

I still prefer the eversense, but I’d rather pay $200 for the miaomiao2 and $68 per month for the us libre which now works with the 14 day us libre over the $960 cash price for the eversense sensor only…not including the implant procedures…still my favorite cgm

Sorry, that’s not true. The only thing close to what you are saying is that Dexcom now states that Medicare G6 users will not get Medicare-covered strips thru Dexcom. G5 users have not been cut off from getting strips and it is very late into 2019 as we speak.


Yup, happened twice, with separate sellers. Haven’t bought any test strips from amazon since.


Its likely the strips were originally sold to MC beneficiary. They often get regular shipments whether they need them or not, and end up with excess. There are resellers that encourage them to be sold to them for cash.

Check out this.

et vivere, reservate

If all these are taken off the market those that are struggling will go without -


Cheating a system that could care less if you die! - That’s rich - thanks for the laugh of the day

If all these are taken off the market those that are struggling will go without -

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Medicare/Ebay/Amazon all are aware of the gigantic black market in strips

they don’t care

----------> READ THIS TWICE AND THEN AGAIN <----------

some folks are selling one brand they can only get to get cash to buy the ones that work for them -

Black markets exist for a reason -

I too have been getting my strips from Amazon. I am on both Medicare and Medicaid, but the maze of hoops I need to go through to get my strips covered left me in a sobbing heap halfway through. (The company supplying my pump and Dexcom supplies won’t deal with strips, so they‘d require a whole other web of doctor/supplier/insurer approvals - GAH!! - on top of all the other meds I have to fight for)

Anyway, when Contour Next strips doubled a couple months ago I switched to Care Touch meter and strips which I can get for ~6$/25 if I buy in bulk. I tested them side by side with my very accurate Contour Next meter and found their readings close most of the time.
Plus they don’t say “For Medicare/Medicaid only” on them.

For the record, I’m with @Tony24 on the propriety issue. Some of us are hand to mouth out here, and finding strips I can afford has saved my life.