How Much Does a Dexcom CGM Cost?

Written by: Staff

The Dexcom CGM system offers dynamic glucose information in real-time, eliminating the need for fingersticks for daily glucose management solutions.

With a small sensor injected beneath the skin, the transmitter, which fastens atop the sensor, is able to send data wirelessly to either your smart device or a Dexcom receiver.

Dexcom CGM Cost
After the battle” (CC BY 2.0) by aldenchadwick

How much does a Dexcom CGM system cost?

The costs of a Dexcom CGM system will depend on a few factors, including which model you want and where you purchase it.  At the time of this writing, Dexcom offered three CGM systems:  the Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM system, the most popular option at this time, which retails for about $500 to $800 per transmitter without insurance, and the Dexcom G6 GCM, which is expected to retail for more than the G5, but at this time, since the device was recently released, the prices were not confirmed by the manufacturer just yet.  The older G4 model transmitter can still be purchased as well for about the same price as the G5.   You can also find a starter kit, which includes a receiver, one box of sensors and two transmitters for about $1,500 at most retailers.

If you just purchase the transmitter on its own, then this price will not include the sensors for the transmitter, which will have to be replaced every seven days.  For the sensors, which need to be replaced every seven days, can cost about $100 per sensor or close to $300 to $400 for a box of four, the most common quantity found.

As for the transmitter, the company states it will only last three months, the main reason you will receive two transmitters if you buy from the company, so be prepared to continue to buy a new transmitter as you use the device.

Receiver (only required for some models as you can use your phone for the G6, for example)$500 to $800+
Transmitter (only lasts 3-6 months)$300 to $400 each
Sensors$300~ for a pack of four

On, for example, we did find the Dexcom G5 Transmitter on its own for about $450, but the expiration dates were unknown and it is often not recommended you purchase this route, especially if the expiration date is unknown.

According to one member on this forum thread, her insurance was charged $649 for the G4 receiver, $799 for the transmitter and another $750 for the sensors, but in the end, after her insurance paid its share, she paid a total of $1,307 to get started.  At the end of the year, she also noted she paid a total of $2,664 and expected to pay a pinch less than $5,000 for two years total when everything was factored in.

On this forum thread, one member said she paid a $1,000 co-pay for her transmitter and another $300 per box for the sensors, which last a few months on average.  Via another thread on the same website, a member stated she paid $2,500 a year on the G4 system.

Those with health insurance policies will find that almost all policies will cover these devices, including the receiver and the sensors, but as with any health insurance, the costs you pay, even after insurance pays its share, will depend on your co-pay and deductible limits.  Some have repoarted paying less than $100 per month for everything, whereas others have reported paying thousands throughout the year.  Be sure to check with your health insurance company and the retailer you plan on purchasing from to see what you may be responsible for.

How does the device work?

The device consists of three parts:  First, a small sensor, which is inserted beneath the skin, is able to read your glucose levels, which will then be sent to the second component, the transmitter, which is a component that fits onto the sensor and can send your data directly to any web-based mobile device.  The last part, the mobile device, will be a small receiver, such as your smartphone, which can then display your glucose information in real time.

Dexcom G5 CGM specifications

This was the first FDA approved CGM system that allows you to make treatment decisions without the need to prick your finger, according to the company.  The device provides real-time glucose readings for those with type 1 and 2 diabetes, with readings every five minutes that are sent to your smart device via the Dexcom G5 mobile app.

The G5 CGM system is a compact system which compromises of a discrete small sensor inserted  beneath the skin, a transmitter which sends the data from your sensor to the smart device and a mobile app that offers a report system, known as CLARITY, which offers the ability to track your glucose levels anywhere on any web-based platform.  You’re also given the ability to send any results to loved ones, caretakers and view any trends in real-time.

If your glucose levels are trending too high or low, you can send audio alerts to your phone.

Dexcom G6 GCM specifications

The G6 system, as per the CEO, will follow the same system the G4 and G5 uses, but with different features based on the feedback received from its users.  The sensors are recommended for use in the abdomen for those two and up or on the back for those between the ages of two and 17 years old.  The device was approved by the FDA in March of 2019.

The G6’s sensor will no longer require calibration, meaning you do not need to check your meter to calibrate the machine unless you feel the symptoms which do not correlate with the blood sugar data the device is giving you.

The mechanical aspects, in comparison to the G4 and G5, has greatly improved as the new application is easy to use and the sensor can quickly insert with a quick push of a button.

As per an FDA requirement, the sensors must shut off after 10 days as the components may start to work differently on day 11 or 12, for example.

Tips to know

With the new version, you will not need to buy a receiver as you can use your smartphone, for example, to replace the receiver itself, potentially saving you hundreds.

Customers do note that Dexcom, if you purchase directly from the official website, will offer special promotions from time to time.

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