Medicare-labeled supplies?

I’ve noticed some interesting labeling for some of my CGM/test strips supplies. On my Contour test strips, and also on my Dexcom G6 transmitters, I see the label “Medicare/Medicair DME Beneficiary(ies) Only.” On my Dexcom sensor inserter boxes it says “For DME Distribution Government Payors Only.”
I’m guessing this has something to do with discounts and/or lower prices negotiated by Medicare with the manufacturers. Perhaps these boxes have different bar codes for the different prices, and the labels are to ensure that the properly-priced boxes go out to the Medicare recipients. But if anyone has any better-informed or more-concrete information, I’d love to hear it.

That was “Medicaid,” of course. Also, none of my Tandem sets or reservoirs seem to have a label. ??

Are you on Medicare/Medicaid? Then it’s totally normal.

“Grey market” stuff shows these labels most of the time. If you buy test strips or meters on Amazon from the cut-rate sellers, for example, you will see the “Medicare/Medicaid only” labels quite often. I wouldn’t guarantee that all grey market stuff has this but very common.

What I think is happening in the grey market, is that Medicare/Medicaid recipients are selling their diabetic supplies to shady resellers for cash, who then sell the stuff to folks who diabetics without good insurance, who need these supplies to live. I see newspaper and street ads for the shady resellers all the time wanting to buy diabetic supplies.


Yes, I’m on Medicare. But I get my supplies from recognized commercial distributors. I’m just wondering why the labels are put on the boxes in the first place. Is it to warn folks who buy from less-than-well-known sources that the supplies they’re buying may not be entirely legal? I suspect they know that before they buy! Or am I missing something? (wouldn’t be the first time :slight_smile: )
I do see lots of hand-lettered signs on utility poles offering to buy test strips, so I know this sort of thing goes on.

@K_Hjalmar the labelling is an attempt to curtail sales of prescribed Rx supplies issued\sold to Medicare recipients from being resold on the gray market to other entities. Medicare is making the labels a requirement. Kaiser Permanente does the same to all patients for bg strips.

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Ah, of course. I’m being dense today, or at least looking from the wrong angle. Thanks!

I suspect many medicare users are not on insulin, but general guidance is for doctors to expect them to do BG tests, so a RX is written/faxed to pharmacy with other meds. Many (including some I know) don’t want to admit to doctor they don’t test. Then they see posters, signs (or want ads) saying $CASH FOR BG STRIPS!!!

They say, why not? They are helping others that will use them.
Easier then telling doctor they are not testing.

And there may be abuse of getting prescribed more than needed, knowing they can be sold for cash.

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If you’re on Medicare, then yes you would usually get Medicare-labeled supplies.

I believe Medicare actually requires the vendors put the markings on several kinds of supplies (including bg meters, bg test strips, and I’m sure others) as part of their contract, to try to reduce fraud on several levels (not just grey market but further up the supply chain too) but it sure as heck doesn’t slow down the grey market.