Medicare and Test Strips

Medicare has not covered the last two 90 day orders of my test strips. I called them and spoke to a supervisor, who said it was because Walgreens is not a medicare provider. This is not true. Walgreens is listed on their website as a medicare provider.

I test 5 times per day and have medical document from a doctor. I’m wondering if I ordered the 100 per month normally allowed by medicare and supplement the remaining out of pocket if it will help.

Anyone else have problems with medicare not covering they test strips?


I get my test strips as part of my monthly Medicare Dexcom subscription and my November order contained the test strips, paid for by Medicare. I will be placing my December order tomorrow and will advise if they are no longer included.

I also get my test strips through Walgreens. I recently switched from One Touch Ultra to Contour Next, and they did require some extra documentation from my doctor, but they were covered. I test 8 times a day, and Medicare pays for them 100%, maybe because I’m on a pump?

I’m on a pump too (omnipod).


Are you getting either a Dexcom or Libre CGM? That can affect your coverage of strips.

No I don’t have a CGM.


Below is the transcript of a chat I had with Medicare this morning. It was total nonsense as usual.

------------------- Live Chat Transcript ---------------------
Live chat Date:12/5/2019
Start Time:09:35:02 am
End Time:10:00:03 am

[09:35:02 am]: Thank you for contacting Live Chat.
[09:35:04 am]: JOHN Why are my claims for test strips from Walgreens being denied?
[09:35:06 am]: Please wait while you are connected to an agent.
[09:35:08 am]: You are now connected with Live Chat.

Thank you for contacting Live Chat. My name is Kendra. Can you please verify your first and last name?
[09:35:28 am]: JOHN John A Allocca
[09:35:56 am]: Kendra Thank you. I will be happy to assist you with the claims. What is the date of service?
[09:36:10 am]: JOHN 10/18/19
[09:36:33 am]: JOHN Claim Number
[09:36:34 am]: Kendra Okay, thank you. Just a moment while I look into this for you.
[09:39:11 am]: Kendra Our records show this claim was denied because The claim doesn’t show that you own the equipment requiring these parts or supplies.
[09:39:27 am]: JOHN That is rediculous
[09:39:44 am]: JOHN I use the omnipod and it has a built in meter
[09:40:14 am]: Kendra So it is a blood glucose monitor?
[09:40:29 am]: JOHN no, a glucose meter
[09:40:44 am]: JOHN I’m planning to publish this chat on the internet
[09:41:10 am]: JOHN You don’t know what you are talking about
[09:41:45 am]: JOHN The omnipod is an insulin pump
[09:41:53 am]: Kendra I am going by what it says on the claim, Mr. Allocca, I apologize
[09:41:59 am]: JOHN The omnipod PDM has a built in glucose meter
[09:42:20 am]: JOHN That uses test strips
[09:43:23 am]: Kendra Okay, I understand the omnipod is an insulin pump, but you have to a blood glucose monitor for Medicare to cover the test strips.
[09:43:39 am]: JOHN Also, glucose meters are sold over the counter
[09:45:14 am]: JOHN are you there?
[09:45:24 am]: Kendra Yes, I am here.
[09:45:50 am]: JOHN What can be done to change my record to indicate I have a glucose meter that uses test strips?
[09:47:51 am]: JOHN please answer my question
[09:48:24 am]: Kendra Just a moment while I look into this for you.
[09:55:23 am]: Kendra If you disagree, you can file an appeal with Medicare. Even if you disagree with the decision on the claim, you must pay the provider or supplier for the items or services you received. If you do not pay your portion, the provider or supplier may send it to a collection agency. If the appeal is decided in your favor, you will be refunded anything you paid for the items or services up to the Medicare-approved amount.
[09:55:54 am]: JOHN How do I submit an appeal?
[09:56:23 am]: Kendra Did you receive a Medicare Summary Notice, MSN about the test strips?
[09:56:36 am]: JOHN yes, but I discarded it
[09:57:30 am]: Kendra Okay. The reason I asked is because, it gives instructions on the MSN about filing an appeal and where to send it to.
[09:58:26 am]: JOHN Can I do it online?
[09:58:49 am]: Kendra You would not be able to file online.
[09:59:19 am]: JOHN You are of no help to me. I will send this transcript to my congress person and publish it online.
[10:00:03 am]: The chat session has ended. Thank you for contacting Live Chat. Have a nice day.
[10:00:03 am]: 12/5/2019

I have NEVER, EVER received usable information from Medicare, so I seldom bother to speak to them,. Generally speaking, I know more about the rules than they do. It’s maddening to speak with them.

Just placed My Dexcom Medicare monthly re-order today for sensors and test strips so Medicare is still paying for test strips.

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I posted a poll on FB about this a couple weeks ago and the results were heavily weighted on the side of “I still get strips thru medicare with the G6”.

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I wonder if Medicare is paying Dexcom or they are supplying test strips as a courtesy?


I know when Dexcom got Medicare approval the approval required Dexcom to provide everything a patient needed to measure BG. That is why there is an initial package which contained items such as a receiver, contour meter, batteries etc, followed up by the monthly subscription package that includes Sensors, Test Strips and Lancets as needed.

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