New US Freestyle Libre user experience

#1

I’ve been using the Freestyle Libre for about 2 and a half weeks now and I wanted to give my experiences with it.
COST:I have BCBS and they said they covered the reader and sensor as DME meaning they would pay 80%. Unfortunately Kroger Pharmacy(which was the only one in my area that had heard of the Libre and took my insurance) couldn’t run it as DME. My prescription insurance did cover them though. They covered $15 of the reader and $0 of the sensors. So the sensor cost $43 each and the reader cost $65. I called Abbott and they had a discount program that worked with my insurance to bring the cost down from $43 for one to $40 for 3. I’ll take that deal every day.

ACCURACY: It takes 12 hours to warm up, and for me, it’s immediately very accurate after the warmup is done. The reader will indicate if you’re trending up, down, or flat. I’ve found that if I’m flat and I do a fingerstick(with a Bayer Contour meter) I’m within 5 points. If I’m trending up or down, then I find that the Libre runs about 10 minutes behind a fingerstick. So if I’m trending and I do a fingerstick and then check the Libre again, it’s within 5 points.

OTHER THINGS: I’m on my second sensor and I have yet to feel it. I didn’t feel either of them at all when I put them on, and I don’t feel it while wearing it.
After 10 days, the reader won’t read the sensor anymore. There’s just a message saying that the sensor has expired. I have found a way to get a few more days though. If you have an Android phone(I don’t know if there’s anything on Apple that can do this) that has NFC, there is an app call Glimp that you can install and use your phone to scan the sensor even after the reader says it expired. There is a problem with Glimp so I wouldn’t recommend using it from the start when you put on the sensor. Glimp gives a message that the NFC on my phone can damage the sensor and there have been reports of people frying their sensors using it. I tried it once the reader would no longer work, I figured I didn’t have anything to lose at that point, and was able to get 4 more days from the sensor. After that, the Glimp act also reported that the sensor had expired.

Overall I’m loving this, especially at $40 for 3. I still do occasional fingersticks because I’ve been doing them for so long that my brain won’t let me quit, but it’s great to not have to do so many.

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#2

Thanks for the review. So, is it worth it to ask for the Abbott program? My Kroger quoted me $75 through my insurance (my CDE is giving me a free reader.) I’m not easily able to swing the $75 per month, but Abbott did not tell me they had any kind of program. Maybe it just didn’t work with my insurance, which is an HMO individual plan on the exchange. I’ll have my reader early January, so I hope to have something worked out in case I really like the system!!

#3

It’s definitely worth giving them a call to ask about it. They asked me about my insurance and then told me I was eligible but I’m not sure what kind of insurance it works with or if you just need any kind of insurance

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#4

Hello, a few remark on the libre. First, in Europe, the sensor lasts 14 WHOLE days, the 10 days is a way for Abbott to make more money (how thoughtful of them…) Second, I use a phone to read my sensor, and I find that glimp is FAR more accurate than libre (glimp has always been far closer than libre to an actual blood test reading). I actually wonder if using glimp you can extend the life of the libre (but I somehow doubt it). What is for certain, is that glimp reads the libre even during the hour warm up…

#5

Thanks! I will check with them for sure! OK, some dude who barely spoke English said if you are getting a better price than $75 a month you are getting it through your insurance (and apparently it is a darn good deal!). No other offers or assistance available.

#6

The FDA recently approved the Libre System for the 14 day sensor use in the United States but it may take a while before it goes into effect and on the market.

#7

I know this is an old thread but I’ve only been using the Libre 14 day for two months and I’ve found that on it will only stay on for about 11 1/2 days. Also I live in Indiana and Anthem won’t cover it so I pay $75. If you look at the cost of lances and test strips it’s comparable to the Libre at least for the insurance company. I do know there are some States where Anthem is now covering the Libre so I’m hoping they’ll do it here also.

#8

You may want to call Abbott and ask them to replace your sensor if it did not remain in place for the full 14 days. They will replace defective sensors, so “maybe” they will replace one that comes off prematurely.

The ONLY place I know that will replace a sensor is Abbott. If you got your sensor from a local pharmacy or a medical supply company, they will not help you. You MUST go to Abbott.

There are some armbands that you can use to keep the sensor in place.

#9

I did just that and they sent me two replacement sensors they also recommended a product call Skin Tac wipe which should help the sensor to stay on. I still have 9 days left but so far so good.

#10

Welcome to TuD, @Richard2! Sorry you’re having trouble getting your Libre covered. I think you’re making a good choice paying out of pocket but it doesn’t seem fair if you are paying for insurance as well. I hope you find TuDiabetes as useful as I have.

#11

There are several products that will help keep your sensor attached.

My mind is blank as to the name of something you can get in any drug store. It is like the old elastic wrap one used for wrapping sprained ankles, etc. It is disposable and you can cut off what you need from the roll, wrap around your arm where you placed sensor and it sticks to itself.

You could use a large patch band aid over the sensor.

I have the opposite problem. I have trouble getting the sensor OFF when it expires. It sticks too well to my skin. When I try to pull the sensor off, it looks like I am pulling my arm like play dough. Ugly, but funny, sight. :upside_down_face::upside_down_face:

#12

I posted quite some time ago about adhesion problems and a search would probably yield even more suggestions. I bought some Skin Tac, but never used it. Instead, I tried a suggestion I saw online. After insertion, take the handle of a teaspoon and press the edges in place. So far, so good through multiple sensors!

Usually getting the sensors off takes some doing. I use a pocket knife and gently scrape up the edges. Once you get an edge started, it is much easier. Also, there is a two-sided sticky layer that usually comes off with the sensor. But occasionally that layer ends up on your skin. Instead of fussing with that really sticky mess, I apply a bit of baby powder. It doesn’t remove the layer, but makes it non-sticky. You can either just leave it there or get a better grip if you want to pull it off.

#13

My sensors used to come off because I walked in the summer and would be wet all over after I did my 3 miles. I found Simpatch and have not had a sensor fall off since. It’s a great product. I got mine on Amazon but their website is simpatchnyc.com. Be sure and ask for the one that is for Freestyle Libre. I haven’t had to have one of my sensors replaced since I started using these.