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diabetes FAQ: bg monitoring (part 2 of 5)
Section - What do meters cost?

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The flip side of expensive blood glucose measurement strips is that the
manufacturers virtually (and sometimes literally) give away the meters
to hook you on their strips. Don't pay full price for a meter; look for
discounts, rebates, and giveaways. There is even a brand of strips which
includes a basic meter in the top of each vial; the price is OK and as
far as I know the accuracy is as good as any.

Make sure you consider the cost of strips as well as the cost of meters,
and find out which your insurance will pay for. The most fully featured
meters don't have such widely advertised deals, though you can probably
find ways of getting them at discount. Decide whether you need a meter
with a lot of extra features or just a basic one. As of 2007, even most
basic meters allow you to download results into a computer.

If you have insurance that pays for strips but not for the meter, you
should not have to pay anything for the meter. Most like it will be
provided to you so that you can use the preferred strips. If not, and if
it's worth the time to you, call the meter manufacturers' customer
service departments or the online suppliers. They will very likely find
a way to get you the meter for free. The manufacturers make most of
their profit on the strips, not on the meters.

As with strips, this discussion of costs applies to the US, and there
has been little discussion of meter costs outside the US on m.h.d.,
probably because fewer tradeoffs are available in most countries.

In Britain, strips are covered by the National Health Service, but
meters may be expensive. However I've also heard of a limited-time One
Touch program providing a full refund for the meter if you submit the
strip wrappers. Likely other companies will compete. (This information
is from the 1990s, and I do not know if it is current.)

Elsewhere? Please post. It's likely that the situation is continuing to
change rapidly, so if the cost of the meter is painful for you,
investigate other options before paying full price -- wherever you live.

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Top Document: diabetes FAQ: bg monitoring (part 2 of 5)
Previous Document: Ouch! The cost of blood glucose measurement strips hurts my
Next Document: Comparing blood glucose meters

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