Pumps on the market in Oct 2019

I’ve been using insulin pumps for more than 20 years now. My current pump is a Tandem t:flex, which I chose specifically because of the 480 unit capacity. But it’s now discontinued.

As October looms next week, my t:flex warranty expires and it’s time to get a new pump. Not much to choose from, as far as I can see: Medtronic or Tandem.

So my first question for readers is: are there any other pumps on the market in the U.S. currently?

And my second question is, since both the Medtronic corporate website and my local Medtronic rep have failed to respond to my inquiries, are there any Medtronic Integrated pump/CGM combos that are Medicare approved, and which model do you like?

I like that the DexCom CGM is paid for by Medicare, but I can’t imagine that Medtronic can be far behind.

Thanks for any views or opinions!

I’m on Medicare. I can’t stand the Medtronic sensors but I’m “ok” with their pumps, to some extent. Since I don’t like their sensors I’m not bothered by a lack of Medicare coverage for the sensors. Many people on line have reportedly dropped the 670 for the X2. I ordered an X2 but with a broken pump, Tandem was too slow to respond to my request for a pump, so I recently got the 670. I love the reservoir of the Medtronic pumps. It’s easy and fast to fill–no silly archaic needles needed to add insulin to a cartridge that you can’t see into, and air can be an issue. I despise the luer-lock style connector hanging a few inches off of the Tandem tubing where it exits the reservoir. I dealt with true luer-locks with the early MM pumps and found them aggravating on their own without them also being a few inches away from the pump. I like my set/reservoir changes fast and simple. that means I have to use the Medtronic pump.
Furthermore, I love the G5 and that’s why I was going to get the X2 (which would work with the G6 which I’d eventually be getting) but Tandem’s delay put a monkey wrench into that idea and added to that some other issues I have with the X2, I felt that Medtronic pumps have served me very well so I should not jump to something “flashy” or “trendy” (think touch screen and software upgrades). If I like something “as-is” I don’t need upgrades. I’ve had products perform LESS well after “upgrades”. Sometimes new isn’t always better.

Having said all that, it’s possible I might have been ok with the X2 (despite the likelyhood that I’d forever be irritated by having to charge it’s battery) but I’ll not ever find out.

It really boils down to pros and cons. Since you already have a t:flex I’d imagine you’d opt for the X2 unless there are major annoyances with your Tandem pump.

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Thank you for your views. My major complaint about the t:flex is the rechargeable battery. It’s really inconvenient.

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The Guardian 3 Sensors for The Medtronic 670 Pump are not covered by Medicare. 345 dollars out of pocket per box.

My husband likes his pump and the sensors but not the cost of the sensors.

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Medtronic sensors are not at this time covered by Medicare. I would like to say this will occur soon, but to my knowledge at this time Medtronic does not have a pending application for reclassification with the FDA or CMS. I am told it will require both for the sensors to be covered.

In short while I would love it to be true, I would not think it will be anytime soon.

Note: I am a Medtronic ambassador. My opinions are my own. They did not pay me to say nice things about Medtronic devices or the company. In fact, they do not pay me at all. OK, they sent me a shirt and a cup but even I am more expensive than that.

There is OmniPod.

https://www.myomnipod.com/home

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https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/07/23/1886474/0/en/Medtronic-Requests-Approval-of-Non-Adjunctive-Labeling-from-FDA.html

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Love my pods!!

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I’m not at all familiar with Medicare rules and I don’t have any experience with Medtronic pumps. Only Disetronic/Roche, Animas and currently Tandem X2. I’m using it integrated with a G6 CGM. I love both. The Basal-IQ software is fantastic and the Control-IQ closed-loop software is reportedly very close to release. Because you have a T-flex I’m sure you’re familiar with the pluses and minuses of Tandem’s general pump design.

If I had a choice I would opt for X2 and G6. I know G6 is not approved by Medicare yet, but I understand approval is imminent.

I have used Medtronic pumps all my life and am currently using Dexcom G5 CGM which I plan to continue using. Was considering switching to Tslim2 and G6 but decided to wait.

Totally agree with Dave44. Medtronic has a larger reservoir and is simple to change. Also not a fan of the luer lock style connector on the Tslim.

The most important reason I would switch to the Tslim is to take advantage of Basal IQ at night which would hopefully improve my sleep and also take advantage of software upgrades to the pump.

I think the Tslim is most beneficial to those who want to significantly improve their time in range, standard deviation and average BG. I don’t want to give up control to an automated system. I know you can turn off theses feature but then I don’t see the benefit for me personally.

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G6 WAS approved for Medicare last year!
I started on G6 end of last year, went on Medicare Jan this year, was “forced” by Dexcom to DOWNGRADE to G5 (or pay full price out of pocket).
The problem is that Dexcom is not supplying their Medicare customers/patients (like me) with G6YET, and keeps pushing out when they will.
I liked the G6 much better.

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I was told by a Dexcom rep that they will start sending out the G6 for Medicare people in December. As your G5 transmitter expires you will be sent the G6. We will wait and see

Not if I have anything to say about it. They have told me numerous times I can opt out. I hope that’s true.

My G6 is covered by Medicare. I have been on Medicare (with Aetna advantage plan) due to disability for 7 years. Last year my G5 receiver and transmitter were going out of warranty and Dexcom offered to upgrade the hardware/sensors to G6. Medicare covered it all. It turns out that the G6 sensors fail regularly. So if you get Dexcom G6, be prepared to be on hold to report failing sensors, which Dexcom will replace. The readings are accurate, which is a plus.

G6 system is most accurate CGM i’ve had. It’s also the most annoying due to 2/3s of sensors failing on approximately days 6 to 8. The Dexcom techs will try to suggest failures on taking acetaminophen, or not putting extra tape over sensor, or not putting it on your abdomen. Several friends (and a number of people on this forum) have similar observations.

Looking at the reviews of both the G5 & G6 apps for the iPhone, it seems like a lot of people are having major problems with a “signal loss” error - both types of DexCom. I started getting those errors on my G5 system multiple times per hour, and one day, the iPhone app was unusable for more than a full day - at least every time I looked at it. As a result, I’ve gone back to using the DexCom receiver as my primary reporting device.

This all seemed to happen when my iPhone updated itself to iOS 13.

And now that I’m using the DexCom G5 receiver all the time, I see on their website that there’s a receiver update tool available on the web site. One place says it will bring your receiver software up-to-date, another implies that it’s only for the touch-screen receiver, and yet another says that after you use ut, your receiver can’t be used for G5, only G6. Does anyone know anything about this?

Rob why not call Dex tech support and ask about the update tool?

I’m on a Medicare advantage plan through Aetna and they cover all my sensors and pump supplies. Everything is covered with no expense to you except sensors will cost $192 for a 3 month supply.

Now that open enrollment is here now is your time to grab Aetna coverage. They offer a plan that’s free. No monthly payment but there’s a $1000 dedt. There’s a second plan that doesn’t have a dedt but I think it’s $90 or $70 a month. That’s far less than the sensors are costing you.

Aetna is also a PPO so you don’t need referrals and you can go to any doctor you want.

Go on Aetna website and check it out. I’ve checked out most advantage plans and have been happiest with Aetna.

Hope this helps,
Christa

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I’ve heard the same thing from Dexcom twice - most recently last month from the Dexcom rep.

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I was ready to move back to G5 based on my initial G6 experience. But I was able to improve things to the point where I’m very happy with the G6, especially accuracy. There are lots of other suggestions (and reported problems!) out there. Presoaking the sensor got rid of the poor day 1 performance. I also use a very light touch on the inserter when placing the sensor. This improved sensor life. I started with most sensors not lasting the full 10 days. Now reaching 10+ days is the norm for me.

Hope you’re able find ways to improve G6 performance in your hands. I don’t think I’d have the patience to stick with it if I had the level of problems you’re experiencing.

Whenever I call Dexcom TCS they immediately ask if I’m taking large doses of acetaminophen, where I place the sensor and my BMI (to assess whether I have enough fatty tissue at the insertion site). At first I thought this was accusatory. After getting the same questions repeatedly, I concluded it’s a checklist they go through on every call. I imagine these are common reasons people have problems and they want to get them out of the way before they dig deeper into my issue. I quickly answer the question and they move on.

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