I have read a Reddit discussion on Dexcom at Costco recently and they mentioned specifically that the one must be a member of Costco Membership Prescription Program to get that nice prices. May be it is different from a simple cash quote you asked for.
I’d call screwing people over pretty sleazy. It may be “just business”, but noble it is not. But considering that the whole business model of insurance, especially health insurance, is to try to get out of as much as you possibly can and do what is best for the company first and the patient second; it may not always be literal backroom deals, but that doesn’t change the fact that they have a very backroom feel to them. That of course is just my opinion.
It seems we have perceptual differences about how business is conducted. There’s a world of difference between illegally colluding to raise prices vs two companies getting together to hammer out a mutually beneficial pricing structure.
“Price fixing is an agreement (written, verbal, or inferred from conduct) among competitors that raises, lowers, or stabilizes prices or competitive terms. … A plain agreement among competitors to fix prices is almost always illegal, whether prices are fixed at a minimum, maximum, or within some range.” That quote is from the FTC.
The operative words there are “competitors”.
Yes you do have to be a $60 member. CostCo prices can be great for G6 Cash Pay, especially on Transmitters & Receiver. I need to find out for sure what my insurance cost will be but suspect it will follow that which I mentioned. Following is link and excerpt:
Written by Mike Hoskins on January 24, 2019
From the patient affordability POV, check out pricing for Dexcom at Costco pharmacies versus traditional costs:
To get the Costco pricing, you of course need to be a Costco member ($60) and also sign up for their free pharmacy program. From there, Dexcom confirms that the cost savings are enormous:
- G6 Transmitter: $28.88 each (versus $237 each if purchased directly from Dexcom!)
- G6 Receiver: $35.96 each (versus $365 cost from Dexcom)
- Box of G6 sensors (three pack): $318.27 (versus $349 from Dexcom)
Dexcom notes that for a new customer, this is a start-up savings of roughly $870 versus its traditional pricing!
These Costco prices are self-pay only, as insurance isn’t applicable there (also not Medicare or Medicaid). So for anyone who may have a lower insurance co-pay or deductible requirement, they may be better off sticking with their traditional purchase channels.
Unfortunately, lots of patients and even many Costco pharmacy folk are unaware of this savings program, so if asked they quote much higher prices, up to $1,100 for a single box of sensors – ugh!"
Wonder if my insurance company will “Respond within 24 hours” in my request for confirmation of what my copays will be and if they have any other suppliers besides EdgePark. Especially when I questioned how their best negotiations are for higher or equal cost that any person can get direct from Dexcom.
Yes the 3rd party will markup prices BUT when moving hundreds (thousands?) of boxes of sensors each month they should get a much better price than I can at 1 per month.
IMO, at best it is insurance incompetence but very suspicious that it is a play to squeeze as much as possible out of patients.
I had the G5 an now I currently have the G6. I absolutely love it! The insertion device is so much nicer an more comfortable, I don’t get as many “lost sensor” warnings as I did, I also love that you can calibrate you sensor whenever you want too, not on a 12 hour period. I would highly recommend the G6. The g5 I wouldn’t wear all the time, just went needed because I found it to be more annoying an irritating than helpful the more I wore it. But the G6 I’ve had it on non stop for 3 months now an I couldn’t imagine not having it.
While the G6 does offer the benefits that others have mentioned, i have found that the sensors fail at a far higher rate - as many as 1 per month. You can call Tech Support 365 days/nights a year and they will send a replacement sensor, as long as the sensor is not nearing its life’s end. And if you don’t mind listening to the mind numbing hold music … Also, as mentioned, with the G6, you won’t be able to extend the usable life of the sensor by more than a day or two. Even though my smart phone can run the sensors as well as the receiver, Dexcom insisted i had to purchase the receiver ($500 after insurance). If i knew then what i know now, i might have stayed with the G5. I would not say anyone should stick with the older technology, only that you understand there are pros and cons to each.
About a year ago one rep really POed me when I had started a sensor late on a Sunday night and called about a failure early Sunday morning. He refused the fact that I did not get 7 days of use. Thereafter; as much as possible, I start a sensor after midnight so they can’t give that same argument.
The attitude depends on the tech support person. I’ve been offered replacement sensors when it was defective just a few hours prior to the full7 days. And I wasn’t even calling to get it replaced; I was calling about something else. The biggest gripe I’ve ever had against tech support was when I dealt with Enlite issues for a year with Medtronic–THAT was a terrible, frustrating, time-wasting, needlessly irritating experience with most, but not all of Medtronic’s techs. Some would keep me on the phone for over an hour asking for all kinds of data from Carelink, in order to argue with me about the sensor in question being bad. That is yet another reason I will never go back to using Medtronic sensors of any version, “improved” or not. I knew far more than I wanted to know, about ISIG’s.
Very true - that was the only time I had any real issue regarding sensors. 95% of the time they offer a replacement w/o me mentioning. The only other issue was chasing failures and rep convinced me to obtain a new receiver - which the new one didn’t solve my problems.
No surprise on that one. Some reps aren’t as well trained as most, or they simply can’t retain the information they are given.
I didn’t see this mentioned but one advantage the G6 sensors have is not requiring any calibrations. Saving 2 calibrations and then another every 24 hours is worth something to me in the hassle factor. Plus the algorithm used is more accurate, hence the ability to avoid fingerstick calibrations.
That’s what I hear EXCEPT if you go high and low like I do - calibrations are highly recommended by Dexcom. Regardless - I would definitely check with my meter until I am totally confident. Really, with G4, the calibrations are no big deal except when I’m out of my normal environment they can be inconvenient. And with my current meter, 10 cents per test is acceptable.
Right, I know that strips are not that expensive. Just speaking from my own perspective. I trust and dose on the numbers and am confident that they are correct. My time in range has dramatically improved on the X2 pump with G6 Dexcom, too.
Also wanted to add that the G6 is supposedly good for 10 days only, but they CAN be restarted by following a specific protocol. So you may get more out of a sensor than you are figuring.
Good luck with your decisions and I wish you the best!
We do not calibrate typically. We do however check.
For example, today is the final day of the G6 session. No calibrates during the 10-day session. (Checks - yes. Calibrates - no.) Today the cgm said around 250 BG or something but I thought reasonable to check with meter before dosing a big bolus - just kinda sanity check. Meter was less than 10 points away from cgm which I thought was very good for ~ 250 BG and in the 10th day of the session.
I think “free” qualifies as “not that expensive”, also. I haven’t paid for strips in years. You can bet your bippy that when I get migrated to the G6, I’ll be checking periodically with a meter. And if the readings are too far out, I’ll also calibrate the G6.
So far on the G6 I have calibrated ONCE. I only did this because I was tired of the darn LOW warning it was giving me! I knew I wasn’t, and didn’t feel like waiting for the G6 to catch up to the new sensor.
I learned with the G5 that if I LEFT IT ALONE, it would figure itself out better than if I kept calibrating it.
Free strips - good for you! I don’t blame your actions, though I have found the G6 highly accurate and I love giving my fingers time off…
I’m not impressed with the G6… Though the G5 wasn’t too bad and it did backfill with the later software… or the earlier software through clarity if you used the app and the reciever… or in your case, the pump (that supports g5) and a phone… earlier models used to backfill through clarity… I.e if you uploaded both your reciever and phone (which auto-uploaded if i recall)… the report would be backfilled … just have gotten a lot of sensors that acted flakey and died before the 10 days…
Sounds like the G6 sensors are a high failure part of the system. I end up with at least 1 G4/G5 sensor out of every box failing before 7 days. From what I’m gathering here, if I do go with G6 I could expect about a 50% early failure? Fewer boxes to buy every year and more calls for replacements, but the unexpected early failure can come at very inopportune times.