Why should I upgrade from G4?

#1

So after 3 or 4 years w/o insurance, I now have insurance that will pay 60% of my Durable Goods. I was considering upgrading to G5 or the newer G6 but am not convinced that it is necessary.

I do not use a pump.
I have no need to Share data with anyone.
I do not mind calibrating twice a day and I will still need strips for the times that a sensor reads ??? or completely fails.
I have 4 months of G4/G5 sensors stockpiled.
After buying 9 boxes of sensors on the Scheduled Shipment (cash pay) Plan last year, I have my Free Transmitter scheduled to ship to me on March 1. (for G5 & G6 you get a free transmitter after 10 boxes).
I have 2 receivers which continue to work fine. BTW – with 2 G4 receivers, if I have one them on different sensor start times/dates, when I do start a new session and sensor with one, the other will give me readings within 1 hour (but it might need calibration d/t the new sensor). If I am just extending the sensor use then I can have good readings without a 2 hour gap.
I like the 8 to 15 months battery life I get from G4 transmitter and despise the fact that software would be the determination of when G5/G6 transmitter needs to be replaced. (I recognize that XDrip allows the G5 to be used until battery is low, assume the same is true for G6.)
Do not like the reduced battery life of the Bluetooth smart transmitter. (Is it true that the transmitter does more with the data than just transmit raw data like the G4 does?) Do G5 & G6 use same transmitter?
Do not like seeing the many reports of losing Bluetooth connection with the transmitter. I get frustrated enough when I see ??? for 1, 2 or 3 hours with the G4.

After listing the above, I have even greater doubt that I will upgrade.

#2

Hi @JJM1. You raise all valid and true points. But I wonder if you were to ask anyone currently using the G6 if they would consider going back to G4. I think you would find zero people willing to make that switch. That should be telling.

I would use up the supplies you currently have, then try the G6. Also, from what I remember, the G4 does not have a “backfill” feature, where if you go out of range it will backfill what you have missed. Very useful in G5/G6! :slight_smile:

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#3

I’ve been using the G5 for about 17 months and once in a while it will lose the connection but it’s pretty darn rare. I use the non-touch receiver, AND my phone, which runs xDrip (it’s an android phone–iPhone can’t do xDrip). When I do lose the signal, it resumes in less than 30 minutes. It has never been w/o a connection for hours. My wife also uses the G5 and her results are even better than mine regarding any signal issues.

If you use xDrip you can go well past the 105 day limit for starting the “last” sensor.

#4

You do not have that option with G5. G5 will only transmit to one receiver at a time.

It is very rare to get ??? on G5 unless sensors are used for more than the official 7 day period. If you extend sensor time beyond 7 days, then you will eventually start getting ???

I believe that losing bluetooth connection gives you a loss signal alarm and loss signal notification, not ???. Lost signal comes from having receiver too far from transmitter or from suppressing signal between transmitter and receiver such as burying your transmitter into your partner.

G5 and G6 do not use the same transmitter. That is one advantage of the G6 is that the transmitter is thinner than the G5 and therefore not such a visible protrusion through clothing.

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#5

I pay 100% out of pocket for my supplies nad have been using the G4 for about four years. I recently upgraded to the G5.

I stretch sensors to a month and will say that I get FAR fewer ??? periods with the G5 than I did with the G4. I also really like the backfilling and find it very helpful for periods where I’m not right next to my phone. And the final benefit for me is not having to upload anything, the data is alutomatically uploaded to Diasend without me having to do anything.

I do strongly dislike having readings on my phone. I like it as an option, but not as a primary receiver. I hate that I can’t set the alarms to just vibrate regardless of settings. On the other hand, I hate the G5 receivers (white screeens). So I’ll likely upgrade to a t:slim pump in the near future in part to use it as the receiver so I can get the black screen and the benefits of the G5.

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#6

I just got thru talking with Dexcom Sales and was advised that CostCo now provides G6. You would need to double check with CostCo Pharmacy but was told CostCo pricing for G6 - Receiver $35.96, Transmitter $28.88 each, Box of 3 sensors $318.27. (Price on Receiver & Transmitter seems much too low)
She did confirm the the Bluetooth transmitters do some processing of the raw data. G5 & G6 do require different transmitters.
She could not find any convincing reason for me to upgrade but I will reserve my final decision based on another Dexcom Sales Rep discussion, quoted Insurance co-pays on all 3 systems and comments here.

#7

Would be rarely used.

Forgot I would need to get a different phone.

Might be advantage of some data processing within the transmitter

Do batteries actually die sooner in the G6? I would think a thinner profile might be using smaller batteries.

Wish I could stretch beyond 10 days. Only once did I get 21 days. Just like printers, the greatest cost is the expendables, in this case the sensors which are considered ‘Durable Medical Goods’

#8

I had set up to receive the g6 system, but I ended up cancelling that and ordering more sensors for the G5. I have horrible signal loss problems all the time already with the G5 (I can have it a few inches away unhindered by anything and it will still lose signal), which were rare on the G4. Granted I think a large part of it is the t:slim has bad reception, though i still had issues with the official Dexcom receiver. I have heard so many issues of bad sensors with the G6 and that just makes me even more timid to switch. Currently I am relying on Xdrip+ solely, since the pump refuses to recognize my transmitter as it says the battery is dead (funny how it always goes from “you have 2 weeks left” to “Welp, completely dead can’t use it!” overnight. I’m surprised Dexcom hasn’t had some rule banning such apps created since they allow people to keep from buying things as frequently…

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#9

There is substantial improvement in cgm to pump BLE reception with the X2/G6 as compared to the X2/G5.

#10

2nd discussion after describing my use and insurance with Dexcom Rep “ur better off continuing with G4 until ur situation changes”.

#11

I am considering going from G5 to G6 just to start stockpiling the G6 sensors. Won’t actually go to it until I use up my G5 sensors. I agree with JJM1, I am fine with G5 but eventually I feel they will make you go to G6.

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#12

Actually @Dave44 is incorrect about this. I’ve had xDrip on my iPhone for a few years now.

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#13

I wouldn’t stock pile the G6 sensors yet, they are still having issues with adhesion.

#15

Is it “xDrip+”?

#16

“xDrip for IOS” My initial version was downloaded in 2017, current version is 1.5. But the github repository now redirects you to this: https://spike-app.com/ which I haven’t tried yet. Interface looks snazzy. I’m not super fond of the version I do have, though it has some good practical features. I usually only use it when I want to extend an expired transmitter.

#17

And that is why I always thought Spike was the iphone app. :slight_smile:

#18

OK - I will continue with G4. After getting my costs from my insurance supplier, I calculate my total cost for the rest of 2019 and 2020 to conservatively be:
G4 $1225 then $1644 (I have all equipment and a free transmitter coming)
G5 $2674 then $2066 (Need to buy all equipment in 2019)
G6 $2591 then $2288 (Need to buy all equipment in 2019)

What I don’t accept are the prices indicated to me that insurance negotiated with the 1 and only supplier they work with. Calculations with my copay of 40%, then the negotiated rates for:
Receivers are 129 to 207% of what Dexcom just quoted me.
Transmitters are 175 to 257% of Dexcom quote. (I can pay Dexcom full rate for G6 transmitters for a few dollars less than what my copay is.)
Box of sensors are right at same price at 97 to 104% of Dexcom rate (but they are 114 to 122% of Dexcom’s AutoShip price).
Certainly the insurance company can negotiate better deals than what the manufacturer offers anyone calling in!!! OR are there backroom deals going on???

#19

BTW - I did call CostCo to get their G6 pricings and was quoted cash price of:
Receiver $456.25, Transmitter $277.62, Box of Sensors $418.00; all of which are greater than Dexcom’s prices. Now to try to find out what my insurance negotiated price and my copay would be. Maybe my doc will write a prescription or maybe I can use my 11 month old Cert of Med Necessity just to get pricing.
Using their Cash quoted prices, IF I select G6 my 2019 cost would be $2131 and 2020 of $1949.

#20

Pretty much there are backroom deals going on. There almost always are with this stuff. One other good reason why the insurance based model for payment is horrible. BCBS of NC had an exclusive deal with Edgepark for pump and CGM supplies for the past 6 years (just recently opened it up to others) which they claimed was to provide “better and more affordable care for patients”, yet Edgepark prices were always more expensive than even the manufacturer pricing. There is nothing not backroom about deals for exclusivity.

#21

I think its just business-it’s called a negotiated contract. “Backroom” sounds quite sleazy and is a mis-characterization of the process.