Friday, March 16, 2012

SURVEY SAYS: On Average, How Many Times A Day Do You Test Your Blood Sugars?



So we all know that insurance companies can be stingy with the test-strip allotment.
We've all bitched and moaned and complained about it in the past and where likely to bitch and moan and complain about it in the future.

Seriously, how many of us PWDs (people with diabetes) have had heated discussions with our perspective insurance companies about how many test strips they will actually cover, verses how many test strips we actually use on a daily basis???

Personally, I test my blood sugar between 10 and 15 times a day and have the polka dot finger tips to prove it. But knowledge is power and I need all the diabetes knowledge I can get in order to live my best life.

So I'm asking you dearest diabetesalicous reader to share how many test strips on average you use, the type of diabetes you have and the amount of test strips your insurance will actually cover. And anything else you think is important.
Diabetes is not a cookie cutter disease and Your Diabetes May Vary.
Diabetes is never the same disease two days in a row and there are some days were we MUST test like crazy in order to keep our numbers in check!

Why am I doing this?

1. Blood sugar testing is so important to us and it's critical to a healthy future. And testing can be a costly and combative issue when it comes to durable medical equipment coverage.

2. I believe that insurance companies need to see test strip usage in black and white and from a variety of different sources - WHO ACTUALLY USE SAID TEST STRIPS. Not numbers cruncher who works for the insurance companies who doesn't know the diabetes facts while continuing to perpetuate diabetes myths.

3. If someone is trying to to test their blood sugars more often and is having a problem committing, maybe reading your comments will incourage them to test more often - And that would be wonderful!

37 comments:

Ginger Vieira said...

I test as often as possible! Sometimes I test before a meal, within an hour after a meal, and then within the next hour after that hour! Some days I might test 10 times, other days maybe 4 - 6. In the end, I constantly try to remind myself that testing is worth the expense of another strip because it's the only way I can get the information I need to keep myself healthy.

Anonymous said...

20-25, type 1 currently pregnant. also have a CGM.

Lysianne.Audet.Immobilier said...

I would say I test between 10 to 15 times a day too. My insurance cover 73% of the stripes cost. To attenuate the dots on my finger tips, I soaked my hands in bleach once a week. A "Grandma" trick that works!

Rachel said...

I have type 1 and I test 8-12 times a day. My medical supply company sends me 750 strips every three months, which is enough to basically test only 8 times a day. Now onto my complaining... my husband's work changed policy administration, but our health insurance coverage reads the exact same and the new administration doesn't want to cover my strips anymore... Testing often will help me avoid complications (which they'll willingly cover according to our plan, wtf?)

Nicté said...

I test normally around 5 times if my numbers are right but if im running high I will check like every 2 hours to see where its going and so it can be up to 15 times and of course..the nasty lows normally take more than 5 strips to fix x.x

Ale said...

My insurance will cover for 1 test a day, but i try to test at least 4 times(before every meal and before sleeping). I am proud to say that i actually test more(maybe 8 times a day?), which leaves me basically broke, but healthy for the moment.

Johanna B said...

I test 4 times a day (most days). I'm Type 2. So far, knock on wood, I haven't had to hassle with my insurance company about the # of test strips. I just tell my doc how many I use and that's what he writes the Rx for and the pharmacy fills it for a co-pay. I get a 3 mos supply at one time for $50.

Penny said...

G averages about 12 times a day. That's an average, soe days are more and some less. Insurance gives her 300 a month and sometimes we run out.

Shannon said...

I probably average 5-6 times a day on a good day. If I ever feel "off" I will test outside of that. I have a CGM that I wear most of the time but it's not always calibrated correctly :/ And I will admit there have been times I probably should have tested, and didn't, because I didn't want to "waste" a strip. :/

Anonymous said...

I test 8-10 times a day and I have a CGM. Insurance covers that amount with a $50 copay. In the past I have had insurance companies limit me to 250 strips per month and I have ran out.

Scully said...

10-15 depending on work-outs

Kaitake said...

I test between 7 and 16 times per day, usually about 10 times p/day. I'm in New Zealand so I don't have to deal with insurance I just tell my GP how many tests I do per day and he calculates how many boxes I'll need. It must be at the upper end of the allowance, because my pharmacy is always caught short by my order. Another interesting thing happening in NZ is that the govt dept Pharmac are looking to only fund 1 sort of meter! So cost-cutting affects diabetics not just with rationing of strips, but also the removal of choice of meter!

Lynnette said...

8 times a day, rarely fewer, sometimes more. T1, pump, no CGM. How timely: I am struggling with my insurance over this right now! Ironic, really, that insurance wants us healthy but doesn't want to give us the tools to do it properly. I am "stuck" between box sizes: 250 is too few, 300 is too many.

Jen said...

Type 1. I test 10-15. Sometimes more if having a day of lows or highs...or more frequently after working out...but never less than 10 times (and I'm on a CGM too).

Starting this past January my insurance (BlueCrossBlueShield Illinois) cut coverage and will only cover 6x a day. My dr. wrote a letter of medical necessity to test more. He asked for 12-15. I get 350 for every 3 months...this comes out to testing about 11 times a day or so. If I run out...I have to buy them out of pocket...which we all know is EXPENSIVE!!!

Thanks so much for writing this post. I get so fired up about this issue. The data shows the more we test, the more we know where our #'s are at. The better we control our #'s, the better we prevent complications.

Why on earth would insurance companies cut this kind of coverage? If I cant test often and then let my #'s go crazy and end up with complications later, the insurance companies aren't going to want to pay for that expense down the road!!!

Jen said...

* I meant I get 1050 every 3 months...about 11 tests per day.

Anonymous said...

I test between 10-20 times a day, Type 1 and also pregnant. (number of tests depends on how I am feeling, where I am trending and how often I have to eat, cause this baby makes me hungry ALL THE TIME!) I also wear a CGM. Before pregnancy and my CGM, I would to test 10-15 times a day.

Kimberly said...

I'm Type 1 with a pump and test usually at minimum 8 times per day. Sometimes with extra exercise or weird stuff going on, I'll test 10-12 times. My insurance covers my One Touch strips with no cost to me (thank goodness), and I don't know if they have a maximum number they'll cover. They currently send me 900 strips for three months' worth of testing for free.

Leighann of D-Mom Blog said...

For us it's anywhere from 6-12, but usually 9 or 10. Much depends on blood sugars and sports on a given day.

Wendy Rose said...

We test 10 -12 times a day, which includes once at midnight and usually once more before dawn, depending on that midnight number.

Anonymous said...

About 7 times a day for me, but my CDE wants me to go up to 10 time because i am about to go on a pump.

Carrie said...

I try to test just 5 times a day but it ends up being 8+ times a day. Right now, I only get 150 strips for a month... which isn't enough. Our insurance coverage sucks and we are paying out for EVERYTHING.

Steph said...

I test between 8 and 12 times a day, T1, pump and recently started CGM (which I need to remember doesn't mean I should test less). I've not had any problems at all with my insurance and for that I'm thankful

Theresa said...

Wow, cool to hear that adults are testing 10-15 times a day. I was feeling a little bad about testing my 2yr old that many times a day, but we just need that information. Had a rough time keeping up with supplies at the beginning but now have figured out that the dr needs to write the rx for testing 12 times a day or more in order for me to get the amount covered by insurance.

Michael Hoskins said...

I test 6-10 times a day - usually average seven or eight. My insurers have tried to limit my strips to what equates to about three tests a day, but I've been able to have my endo override that and get the necessary amount.

lizabetic said...

Much necessary post!

Fortunately I don't have the trials of insurance as i'm in the UK, however we also have huge problems with our doctors prescribing us strips. I have heard T2s to be lucky to get any at all and T1s often have to cut down or are refused so many, new laws have also come about insisting we must test before driving each time for those insulin dependant. Of course this makes sense because its otherwise dangerous! But some drs don't understand how many you need to use, and why.

I'm a T1.5 and when I wasn't on insulin I was told I only needed to test 2-4 times A WEEK. But I really do believe that my much more frequent testing helped me gain control enough to prolong my requirement of insulin! Now I am on insulin I test 2 - 4 times a day, usually 2!

:) Lizabetic

StephenS said...

Kelly, good survey. I have to admit that I've been on both ends of the spectrum. I rarely (very rarely) tested in the first 15 years of my diabetic life (21 years now). Then I got a little more serious about it, mostly when I came to the realization that lancet devices don't feel like someone hammered the end of my finger anymore. Also, prior to the pump (2 years ago), I got very serious about it, and I test at regular intervals, 4 times per day. If I'm feeling a possible low or working out more often, I'll make that 6 times per day. And if I'm having regular lows, I'll test like 10 times per day for a couple of days to really see where I am during the day. Then I usually adjust my basal rates accordingly. That's one of the biggest things I've learned to remember in the last 2 years... we all need adjustment from time to time!

Sorry for the long-winded response... hope the move is going well.

Brenda F. Bell said...

Type 2, diet-controlled. I've had insurance that covered unlimited strips at $0 co-pay, and I've had insurance that balked at covering 3 strips/day at a co-pay that was more expensive than buying the strips from a US-based Internet pharmacy. I usually test 3-5 times/day, more if I'm doing a long training ride or if I'm feeling off.

Type1teenager said...

16 yr old type 1, on good days (or when im ill and cba ;) ) ill test 5 but normally its more like 8 - 10. i dont have insurance as im under the nhs in england, and my gp just writes our my prescription for however many i need

shannon said...

my answer is almost identical to penny and grace's.

my kid (type 1, 12 yo) tests on average about 12 times a day, which includes 2-3 times while she sleeps, depending on her bedtime numbers and/or how much activity she had during the day.

thanks for asking the question, it's interesting reading all the answers.

HelenM said...

I'm in France, prescribed 6 a day (T1 on pump) but get a few more as the pharmacy interprets that as 200 a month. Some days I use only 4, but other days I can use 8-10 (exercise, unexplained highs, illness). I sometimes run out and have to buy a box.
Type 2s in France, unless they are on insulin can now only get reimbursement for a maximum of 1 strip a day.

NeurosurgeryNP said...

30 Day average on my pump shows I test 11.3 times per day. That is with wearing a Dex as well. I range anywhere from 10-15 I believe.

Sysy said...

I usually test around 7-8 times but it really varies between 4 and 12 times since I test anytime I feel "off" When i was pregnant I tested every hour, and every 2 hours during the night. We deserve all the strips we need. For sure!

Celine said...

8-15 times a day. If my blood sugar is behaving, probably about 8. If it's not or it I'm exercising in the afternoon or evening, I check every hour on the hour so it adds up quickly.

Jennifer said...

I am T1 and test 10-12 times a day. Thankfully, my insurance covers the full cost of this at the moment (900 for 3-month supply). I actually test more than the 900 covers, but with a little lapse in shipments of test strips, I haven't had to buy any out of pocket.

Misty said...

This is really interesting to read all the comments!

My T1 daughter (age 8) tests 10-12 times a day (this includes 2 overnight checks). She also wears a CGM. Our insurance covers 300 a month with a $25 copay. They said that they would only allow 200 strips/month, but our endo did something to override that.

Rachel said...

I'm at 8-12 standard checks a day - throw in a wacky eating schedule or illness and you can easily double that!

I haven't had any issues with insurance coverage (fingers crossed) but I feel like it's going to come up eventually...

Kelly said...

I test about 18 times a day. I am hypo-unaware and have gastroparesis so testing hourly helps me catch lows before they get too low. It also helps me figure out when my food decides to start to digest.