Would you pay "out-of-pocket" for a smaller, more comfortable cgm sensor?

do you have problems w/ your sensor? do you get nerve or muscle pain when you change your sensor? do you hit a painful spot during injection? does your sensor have too many miscalebrations? do you constantly get the ??? icons? do your direction arrows disappear?

Would you be willing to pay out of pocket if your insurance would not cover the cost of a new and improved CGM? how much do you love having your cgm? what’s it worth to you?

Enlite sensor is TOTALLY comfortable. No pain, no itching, no nothing. Can’t get more comfortable than that. I will be paying OOP for my next batch of sensors now that I’m on Medicare. I feel naked without a sensor.

I already pay 100% out of pocket for the Dexcom system. It’s already extremely expensive ($700 for the receiver, $800 for the transmitter, and $85 per sensor, which I stretch over three weeks). I put up with a lot of ??? and no directional arrows (which I find kind of useless, so I don’t miss those) when sensors get into their third week.

I’m worried about rumours I’ve heard that the G5 transmitter will have a three-month warranty instead of a six-month warranty due to the battery dying faster, which would increase the cost considerably. I’m also worried that Dexcom may eventually find some way of “making” their sensors die at the end of a week so that the user is forced to spend more (or else they would make the sensors more expensive if they increased the wear time to two weeks). I love having my CGM enough that I’m willing to continue paying for it indefinitely at its current price, if I need to. But if it became much more expensive than it currently is (e.g., if I actually had to pay $85 a week for sensors) I wouldn’t be able to afford it, although I’d try to keep up.

There is no way I would pay more money for a sensor that’s a little smaller. I get a little sick of people (Diabetes Mine, mostly) complaining that pumps or CGMs are “bulky” and “ugly” and need aesthetic improvements. Improvement to the algorithms or accuracy, sure—but I couldn’t care less about the asthetics of devices that are already like science fiction come to life compared to 20 years ago.

The only things I’d be willing to pay more money for (assuming I could afford it) would be a device with a lot more features (multiple high and low alerts, a “back in zone” tone, an alert for when BG crossed a set point, an alert when BG has drifted up or down X number of points in Y amount of time, the ability to view statistics on the device itself) and more accuracy; or else a device that’s actually accessible to users with visual impairments and doesn’t require us to use all sorts of random work-arounds, sometimes to gain marginal access to only a few basic features.


i am on medicare and oxford, so i am very very fortunate to have my dex covered by insurance. i don’t give a hoot about the aesthetics of my pump or sensor. that was not what i wanted to convey. i am sorry if i was unclear. i am very very lean and have enormous trouble w/ the large sized sensor/transmitter. i have relatively no body fat to stick the sensor into. i know that i can’t be alone in my situation, as there are many athletes and children who would be happier if the sensor infusion were shorter, so that it would stay sub-q and not hit their muscle or a nerve, or even blood vessel. also, if the sensor itself were smaller, it would be easier to find more rotation sites. my pump is child-sized so it is much easier to put the introducer needle/candula in under my skin.
i do, however, appreciate your reply.

i am on medicare and they pick up some of the cost of my dex. i also am fortunate enough to have supplemental insurance which picks up the balance.

please understand that i did not mean to infer that i had a problem w/ the appearance of the sensor (or my pump for that matter), b/c i don’t. my issue with the size is only related to the fact that i have no body fat to inject my sensor into, so i end up hitting a muscle or a nerve or a blood vessel most of the time. it hurts like hell and i waste one sensor after the other. thank god that dexcom stands by their product and will replace "duds"no questions asked.

please tell me more about your brand of sensor. i am very very curious, especially since i am seeing my endo and cdd next month.


I suspect that smaller sensors will probably come with time, but I also suspect that the sensors probably have to reach a certain depth under the skin to measure the interstitial fluid. Since the insertion is angled, maybe it would help to try to insert at a shallower angle than indicated by the instructions. I know that angled infusion sets (manually inserted) have a fair bit of flexibility in terms of the depth they are inserted under the skin, so maybe sensors are similar.

i am just wondering where that fluid is on my body? is it shallower b/c i am so lean? also,
my pump infusion inserter needle is 17 mm. this is, i believe, longer than the sensor “needle.” i have absolutely no problems w/ my pump silhouette infusion…no pain or discomfort after insertion. once that canula is beneath my skin, i don’t experience any pain whatsoever. and i know that that depth is sub-q. does any of this make any sense to you?
i am trying my best to explain my dilemma, but i am not certain that i am being relatively clear. please let me know. thank you,

i feel naked w/out my cgm and i haven’t even had it for a year yet. my husband thinks i am nuts, but he is not D. (we’ve been married 21 yrs already; you’d think he’d be more understanding. not being D, he just doesn’t get it! but i love and adore him anyway)

Could it be that your body is reacting to something in the Dexcom sensor? Not that there’s any easy solution to that, but it doesn’t make sense if you have no problem with infusion sets but do with sensors. It can’t be a depth thing, as I imagine they would go to similar depths…

Hi Daisy.
What is the name of the Oxford plan that covers sensors? Even when on medicare?


I have a Dexcom G4 and it’s perfectly comfy. I experience no pain ever and I never even notice I’m wearing it day to day. I have had no trouble with the sensor or other equipment.

I would not pay out of pocket for any CGM, and that has nothing to do with how good it is, I’m just poor and could never afford a CGM without my insurance coving it 100%.

I absolutely love my CGM! It has helped my BG control immensely and I’m pretty sure I’d feel naked and lost and totally out of control without it.

i have medicare as my primary and united health care/oxford as my secondary. medicare won’t pay for any sensor supplies as it is not considered as a medication. (at least i think that is the rational).

hope this helps.

my insurance also pays 100% for my dex cgm. and, w/out it, i would also feel naked. swince being on it, my A1c has come down from 8.9 % to 6.4%. the cgm has helped me immensely. i can track my BGs and see what basal changes i need, etc. i think i would find a way to afford it if i had to. but i don’t know for certain.

btw, my husband hates the dex. he thinks it has made me completely neurotic about tracking my BGs and preferred when i was on mdi.

While I’m sure you husband is very special in many ways that I just have no way of knowing, in this I feel he is being rather doltish. I think you might also agree that intense focus on your BG of the each moment is not constructive. But that happens, perhaps to most of us at one time or another.

It’s not as though we can easily turn off these emotions. We each need to find our own way to work through our emotions. More to the point, I doubt that pulling your CGM would do anything to diminish your concern over your BG. My guess is, if anything, you may become even more anxious.

Do you do have any exercises, either physical or mental, which you do to help you reduce anxiety? If not that might be something to look into.

I too use the MiniMed 530G with Enlite and have no complaints about it.
I DID pay out of pocket for the CGM for a time before it was covered by insurance.

My son (11yr) also is very lean with no body fat. He always has difficulty with pain from his Dexcom sensor. About half of the time he can tolerate the pain for 5-6 days but the other half we take out the sensor within a few hours of insertion. He rarely is able to tolerate the sensor for a full week. He only inserts Dexcom sensors on his abdomen and this causes him not to be able to lie down on his stomach without sharp pains, but even with all that discomfort he still wears Dexcom. I believe he is experiencing the same problems as Daisy_Mae.

its Daisy Mae here: just to get back to you Yifat, i started finding new locations for my dex sensor;
after almost a year of pain trying to use my abdomen as the “recommended” site, i spoke w/ my doctor/endo, and he told me to find any body part that had some meat on it. i sleep on my right side, so i began looking at areas on my left side. i found three decent, non painful sites: 1) the outside of my left thigh; 2) between the hip and the butt area; and 3) above my butt in the back of my hip area.

also, before this remarkable discovery, i have to say that i didn’t get through 3 days w/out having to change sensors. i got NO accuracy in my abdomen, i got endless streams of ??? and i got needle-like pains that were only resolved once i pulled the sensor off.

i hope some of this info on sites is helpful for you and your son.

that has always been my Enlite experience.

i thought you loved your Enlite. where are your best go-to sites?

it’s a love/hate relationship. right now I have a very accurate sensor because it’s in the right place in my arm. My arm is the ONLY place that it works well and I’ve been wearing these things since last December. for ages I used only the abdomen and got lousy results.