What should I do? G5 or G6

So I have decided that I want to get a CGM. Unfortunately my insurance company has it listed as durable medical equipment, so I have to get it through Medicare. Dexcom is saying that the G6 will probably be available in Dec. ‘19. Should I go ahead and just get the G5? When would I be able to upgrade it? Are the G5 and G6 much different? Now that I have decided to get one, of course I want it now. What would you do?

If you are ready, get it now. Dexcom has stated they will automatically switch you over to G6.

The biggest difference is the inserter. G6 is easier for most people.

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I’ve never had a difficult insertion with 2 years worth of using the G5. I would think it is easier to pack 4 G5’s than 4 G6’s, right? Space is at a premium when I pack for a trip.

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Oh, that sounds perfect! Thanks MM1

If you’re using it with a phone as the receiver, you can just make the switch whenever they’re ready by ordering g6 sensors and transmitters instead of g5 ones. That’s what I did! You’ll just need to download a new app on your phone when you make the switch.

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The CGM sensors will just keep getting better and better so why wait for possible perfection, that may never happen, when G5 is currently available to Medicare patients with G6 automatic upgrade as soon as Dexcom can produce enough for Medicare patients. For those who wait, the wait may never end as the G7 is in beta now with smaller transmitter about the size of an M&M which is supposed to be even more accurate and I think disposable.

99+% of people on Dexcom G5 would never want to go back to just using finger stick and BG meter even though many have a periodic gripe with Dexcom service. That includes patients with impressive A1C’s on finger stick alone.

I remember people complaining not that long ago that they would never go to a portable phone because their land line worked perfectly and hand held phones had issues. Then heard the same from flip phones to smart phones. The technologies keep getting better, but for those that wait, the learning curve can be daunting as the technologies improve, they often get more complicated, not necessarily better, as well.


But for 30 days, you only need 3 G6s.

For traveling, I think the G6 is packaged more securely, less chance of damage.

@CJ114 that’s such a good point! I thought I was doing fine on finger sticks, and had great a1cs, but realized after switching to a cgm that I was regularly going up into the high 200s post meal. That was causing nausea, lethargy, and acne but I had no idea it was even happening because it would be back down to normal by the next time I tested. I can’t imagine life without a cgm at this point, although if I never had to speak to a dexcom employee about an order again I’d be very happy.

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All of us on CGM’s have been there, done that, which is why our heads spin when we hear people that do qualify now, even consider waiting.

CJ114, may I ask why you don’t use a pump? I am thinking about one for the future, but I find pens so easy to use.

I was just trying to make a point about space taken up by the G6. Let’s not quibble about how many supplies someone needs/wants for a trip, eh?

I travel all over the world and a pump requires much more to carry around. Furthermore I frequently travel across international date line and that raises hell on all electronics, especially medical units. Lastly for past decade+ I use digital pens that deliver in 0.1 units so I have been able to dose my insulin so accurately with digital pens that my endo is always amazed that I can go months without even 1 hypo or hyper glycemia event in every 30 day 24/7 day period. She says there is no way I could reach those results with a pump.

It took a while but digital pen with dose in 0.1u + CGM and lots of trial and error did the trick.

Digital pens also use cartridges that are a little cheaper and more environmentally friendly than pre-filled pens.

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What does she base her comment on?

The thousands of pumpers being treated at Joslin Boston. I do ask her every visit if there is a better pump option for me than MDI and she says in the future yes, but not at this time.

ah, your comment says that she said you couldn’t do “as good as” (paraphrasing here) using a pump. I could understand if she had said you couldn’t “improve on your results” by using a pump. That’s quite a distinction.

It takes a while to get set up with Dexcom on Medicare although I assume that the process is easier these days than a couple of years ago when CGM coverage was new. If it were me I would start on G5 and then switch to G6 when it becomes available. I am very happy with G5 and look forward to G6 because it will enable me to use Basal IQ with my Tandem pump.


Yes, that is what she claims based on her experience that I could not do as good as MDI on pump

I wonder if it (G6) is even an option for you - currently?

If you are eligible for Medicare but Medicare does not provide the G6 (yet) then would any distributor be allowed to even furnish you with the G6?

My opinion of your question (not withstanding the above) is if you are not integrating Dexcom with any other device then I doubt you would see much practical difference between the two with the exception of the G6 being able to run in no-calibration mode.

Unless the no-calibration mode is a big deal (granted we do like it) then I would suggest you go with whichever system is easier at the moment to obtain.

If you get the G5 now, when the G6 is available, you would be able to upgrade from the G5 to the G6 when the 90 day warranty is up on the G5 transmitter(s) you have. Such that if you obtained a pair of G5 transmitters in your first order, you would be able to upgrade about six months from now around Feb 2020 perhaps. Whereas if you only obtained a single G5 transmitter now then you would be able to upgrade around Nov 2019 which sounds to be the possible timeframe that the G6 may be available to Medicare. And if it is not available at that time, you could simply reorder another G5 for another 90 days.


I wasn’t aware that Medicare ever ships out 2 xmitters at the same time. Do you know that they ever do that?

Part of my question. I dont know if the OP would be getting these via Medicare or not. I know people on non-Medicare insurance sometimes get a single G5 transmitter (90 day supply) and sometimes get two G5 transmitters (180 day supply) in a single order.