Out of pocket costs

So I’ve decided I’m going on a pump in the next year, and the VA system here in Phoenix only uses the MM pump. Not a problem. They do not cover a CGM though. To me it seems the two go hand in hand. As crazy as I am I am seriously considering going out of pocket for the unit. Only thing is I have NO idea how much they run. Anyone have any idea? I know the pumps are somewhere in the $4k range. Guessing the MM CGM would be about half that?

Actually I believe both Animas and Minimed pumps are about 6,000-7,000 now. I got my Animas last April and I believe the insurance contracted price was around $6,500 which included the first 3 months of supplies.

You can get benefits of pumping without a CGM. When I first started CGMS 4 years ago or so Minimed’s starter CGMS kit was $1,000 cash price. I have no idea how much it is now. A 10 pack of Minimed sensors used to be #350 but recently has gone up to $425 I believe. You could probably just call Minimed and ask how much it is or call the rep and ask. Did the VA give you a Minimed packet? They usually have the reps contact info in it.

I currently use a Dexcom CGMS and it was covered by insurance. But I believe the starter kit was around $2,000. I’m not sure what the sensors are they used to be around $65 each but that may have changed. Dexcom has insurance prices and some discounts for cash paying customers and various deals now and then. Again that’s something you’d have to call them to see what the going price is.

Do a trial of the CGMS before you buy it! Many people find that the MM CGMS is not accurate or comfortable. I have read better reviews about Dexcom than about MM.

I have been pumping for 5 years, but I do not use a CGMS. So you can start on a pump and decide about the CGMS later.

Dexcom CGM is about $900.

They don’t go hand in hand. You can use either to good effect without the other.


I have a MM pump and thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I had it w/ no CGM for 2 years and then got a CGM last April and it is also very useful, although it gets some getting used to the combination of the two (plus your BG meter, of course…) is pretty useful. I have not had a lot of problems w/ accuracy w/ the MM version but I have never used the Dexcom either? The Dexcom data does look quite a bit nicer, from what I’ve seen of it? The problem with the cost of the sensors is that I don’t think that they are nearly as useful if you don’t use it all the time? I can get 6 days out of them w/o any problem so the cost might be more like $200/ month rather than the full $425 but that’s not exactly cheap? As I recall, you are pretty active and it would probably not be difficult to come up with numerous scenarios where fitness goals would be enhanced by a CGM? If there’s any sort of appeals process, I would urge you to push it as much as you can. Then again, it’s the government.

Once you have the MM CGM-capable pump, the transmitter is like $500. The big cost is the sensors, running somewhere around $30-35 each. While most will last more than the 3 days for me, some don’t either because the sensor starts to die or the adhesive comes off when I’m changing the tegaderm.

I’ve been happy with the MM CGM, but to be honest the main selling point for me was the integration. I was in a clinical trial where I used both MM and Dex at the same time, and I did like the Dex. The main difference I noted over 2 x 3 day periods was that the MM (as I usually experience) tends to undervalue bg when you rise whereas the Dex tends to overvalue bg. Overall the Dex did seem a bit more accurate, but not quite enough to convince me to switch at the moment. Having to open my own wallet, though, I might just go for the Dex.

I’ve been on pumps for almost 30 years and CGM for over 2. I don’t have any current costs for CGM but when I got my first Navigator CGM I got a starter kit for about $700 bucks with a months worth of sensors, subsequent sensors are about $60 bucks each but I could make them last for 30 days each (they are approved for 5 days). I had to pay cash for the Navigator but my insurance finally switched to covering CGM’s last month so I am now using the Dexcom and getting about 14 days each sensor.
In my opinion if you have to pay cash; the MM is the last choice, Dex would be next but the Navigator is, without a doubt, the most accurate and least expensive if you’re extending sensor life past the recommended or in the case of MM where the sensors just die prematurely. The problem is right now you have to buy the receiver/transmitter parts of the Navigator in Europe or Israel, you can get the sensors here in the US for about the $60 each. Abbott keeps saying the Navigator receivers will be available in the US soon but no definite date.
As soon as they come back to the US I will switch back to the Navigator, it’s by far, IMO, the best. The Dex is a close second and does have a couple small advantages over the Nav.

The MM CGMS ‘starter pack’ which includes the transmitter and 10 sensors has a list price of $999. If you have no insurance coverage for the CGMS I would work with MM BEFORE you agree to purchase the pump (even though insurance is paying for the pump) and try to work out a highly discounted deal for the CGMS starter kit.

MM makes the money on the sensors which run $420/box of 10 so they are incented to get people using them!

If you use the MM system 50% of the time and each sensor for 6 days paying the full price for the sensors you are looking at a monthly cost of ~~$105 on average. Not cheap by any means but if one can afford it it can be life changing. IMO.

I had a CGMS before getting a pump. I agree with Terry that they don’t necessarily go hand in hand. A lot of people on MDI use a CGMS and a lot of pumpers don’t use a CGMS.

Like Kristin said, you should really do a trial before getting one. Some people have a lot of problems with the MM one and quit using it for that reason. That is not to say that people don’t have problems with Dexcom but the dropout rate for the Dexcom from people posting here does not seem to be as high as with the MM.

Like Terry said, you can get the Dexcom for $900. Their sensors are about $325 for a box of 4 – I have read that is about what Dexcom’s cash price is for those without insurance coverage. Dexcom sensors are easy to restart and a lot of people get 10-14 days out of their sensors so that one box might last you 2 months.

How about trying the CGM beforethe pump? It’s cheaper and I think that you may find that you don’t even need a pump with the control that the CGM will enable you to get with MDI. I’ve been using a Dexcom for about 8 months with MDI and have been able to get fine control (a1c 5.8) without adding a pump. That could save both money and hassles with finding real estate for multiple sites.