Medtronic Guardian 3 Sensor

I am on Medicare and told for several years by Medtronic that they are working for approval by Medicare for approval of coverage. I do not believe them because they just raised the price $45 per box of sensors if you do not have insurance and are on Medicare.
Dexcom is covered by Medicare for only $48 per month but it does not communicate with the Medtronic 670G which has been good for my diabetes control.
I have seeked information on how to extend the life of the sensor beyond seven days but the methods have not worked and I am stuck with changing every week which is $350 per month cost.
Medtronic has not been forthcoming with information and the persons that answer the phone are not concerned with Medicare and Social Security patients.

Can anyone help with a method that will extend the life of the sensor beyond the 7 days?


I don’t know what you mean by Medicare covering only $48/mo for Dexcom. They cover all but 20% and that 20% is picked up by my UHC supplemental plan, so my cost for Dexcom is ZERO. And the dexcom system is SO MUCH BETTER than Medtronics, it’s not funny. I’ve used the MM system and hated it. As soon as Medicare covered the Dexcom I gave it a try and am so happy that it is so awesomely accurate. I used to use ~17 strips a day, for decades, and now I use about 5 and some of those are for calibrations. Much of the time I forgo calibrating the Dexcom when I test, because it is so close anyway.

IMHO it is worth it to carry additional hardware (ie using Dexcom for CGM instead of MM’s), because of the accuracy. I can only speak for the G5. I know users of the G6 are having issues.

EDIT: AAMOF, I had to step away from my computer a moment ago to head off a low that the Dexcom warned me about.

Dave 44, did your UHC pay for the Contour Next Meter? Received my starter shipment of Dexcom 5 last month but they didn’t include the meter telling me that Medicare, in addition to my UHC supplemental won’t include/cover meter. Haven’t started yet. Called Dexcom and had them review my case. Waiting, waiting, waiting…

I think @DrBB has done this.

I think it involves disconnecting the transmitter from sensor, charging if necessary, then putting it back on the same sensor. Then do a start as though you had put in a new sensor, but didn’t.

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It did not work for me but I will try next Sunday when my sensor expires. Do I need to wait for the sensor to end or can I do before?

I"ve not paid anything for anything from Dexcom. Contour Next meter came with it, free. I have UHC.

If there is option, you should do stop sensor first. That’s how it works with dexcom, as it then allows the start sensor option to appear.

You don’t have to wait for the sensor to expire. Normally I turn off sensor mode, charge transmitter, then start as new sensor process once charged. Works 99%. Although I just had to return a transmitter b/c it wasn’t working period. I usually get 4-5 days extra by extending my sensor after the first week.

So far your method is working and I am very happy with it. I am going to write Medtronic about the Medicare coverage progress. They have been useless on the phone and will not give me a phone number to call about the Medicare progress. I owe you a Starbucks with a lot of sugar in it.

Best Regards,

Daniel Marks

I have been successful only one time out of four. Very carefully cut the tape around the Guardian. Squeeze the prongs on side of transmitter and gently pull out the sensor while holding transmitter firmly dow on skin with other hand. Be careful so that wire on transmitter does not pull out of skin. Be prepared to replace if cecessary. After charging sensor, reattach sensor onto transmitter prongs gently while checking to see if sensor starts blinking. Carefully tape sensor down and check that transmitter is also secure. One time got full week, next time got only 3 days which was fortunate timing due to need for CT scan!

When I insert my Guardian 3 sensor, I pull out the self taping tab and use the provided tape to secure the sensor with one side of the tape and cover the open tab with the other. I then insert the transmitter onto the seensor and use the tab tape to secure the transmitter. No additional tape added.

At the end of seven days, I peel off the self taping tab from the transmitter and remove the transmitter so it can be charged. When charged, I reinsert the transmitter back on the sensor (which is still secured to my body), reapply the self sticking tap to secure the transmitter, and this time add another of the tape supplied with the sensor to secure both the sensor and the transmitter. I then start warm up as if a new sensor was inserted.

I have been following this procedure for several years with both the Guardian 3 and it’s predecessor with only one or possibly two failures

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