Test Strip Subscription Guide
1/18/17
WRITTEN BY: Katie Doyle
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Note: This is part of our library of resources in Tools & How-to. Learn more about equipment and read personal reviews here


It’s no secret that the cost of diabetes has been getting a lot of attention lately, and most of it’s been negative. The price tag on general necessities like, you know, health insurance, then paying for insulin (another necessity), then purchasing the tools and supplies you require to successfully manage your Type 1 all add up.

If you’re looking to cut down on Type 1 spending without neglecting your diabetes management, test strip subscriptions are one option to consider. We compiled a rundown of popular companies that offer test strip subscription services and researched each of them to give you some important info. Take a look!

One Drop

One Drop Premium.

You pay an initial fee (about $80) for the One Drop Chrome setup, which includes a meter, lancing device, initial test strips, lancets and a case. You can then choose to pay annually or per month for a Premium subscription. If you chose the former, you’d pay about $40 per month. Subscribers are allowed to cancel anytime. This subscription includes 24/7 access to a CDE, who is available to answer questions, troubleshoot, and give tips and tricks. You can message your CDE right from the app and responses arrive within minutes!

One Drop analyzes your usage of test strips and will send you the appropriate amount you need each month, essentially offering unlimited access to test strips. It will also let you know your estimated number remaining and will alert you when you are running low.

Pros

  • No insurance is necessary to participate in the One Drop program (U.S. customers receive free shipping)
  • Diabetes support, programs and other advice are available on demand through the One Drop Experts feature on the One Drop app (iPhoneAndroid)
  • You can reorder your supplies directly from the app
  • The app is also on Apple Watch — it allows for quick viewing and logging, right on your wrist!
  • The One Drop Professionals feature offers healthcare providers a connection to their patients’ data for continual support
  • The meter connects via Bluetooth to the app, so it automatically logs bg readings
  • The One Drop meter case is sleek and made of “vegan” leather

Cons

  • The One Drop monthly payment option costs about $80 more per year than paying for a yearlong subscription up front
  • The meter only shows numbers, there are no options to tag entries directly on a meter, as this can be done in the smartphone app (Some may find this inconvenient, while some may like the ease)
  • The parts occasionally slip out of the case, so it may be worth it to put meter and strips in a more secure case.

Dario

Dario takes the mobile idea a step further with a meter that connects to a smartphone, allowing users to check their blood glucose directly on their phone. Readings are uploaded to the Dario app, where users can track their trends, much like the One Drop system.

Dario subscribers can choose between a monthly subscription program and a pay-as-you-go setup. Shipments are sent every 3 months, and subscribers can choose from options that offer monthly allotments of 50, 100, 200, or 300 test strips.

The price breakdown is set up so that if you sign up for 50 strips per month, it would cost you $37.50 every 3 months, working out to around a $12.50 monthly cost. Other items, like the Dario meter, are sold separately.

Pros

  • The Dario app has some cool features that include “hypo alerts” and an option that sends text message with your GPS location in the event of an emergency
  • Like One Drop, Dario also doesn’t require customers to have insurance (If you do have health insurance, you can still sign up for the subscription service; it’s basically an out-of-pocket service that replaces going to the pharmacy to get test strips)

Cons

  • Dario system leaves users without a place to put used test strips, as there is no carrying case for your phone like there is for a meter

Livongo

Livongo is a free system that includes a glucose meter, unlimited test strips and personal diabetes coaching.

In order to sign up for Livongo, you must first be part of an organization that partners with the company (or a spouse or dependent of someone that is). This could be through an employer, health provider or other health plan.

When you sign up, you’re connected to the Livongo network. Your glucose readings are stored in a secure server that can be accessed online. Livongo users have access to personalized programs that are available in English and Spanish, as well as to Livongo coaches. Coaching by Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) is a major part of the program, along with a built-in support network.

Pros

  • The Livongo program is free! (Your employer or healthcare provider absorbs the cost)
  • The Livongo meter, which features a touch-screen, links to the cellular network to upload readings and offers access to the Livongo diabetes support team, blood glucose trends and more
  • Like One Drop, Livongo also offers its subscribers unlimited test strips and lancets, depending on use
  • Unique feature: health facts and encouraging messages that appear on your meter when you check your glucose

Cons

  • Your healthcare provider/employer/health plan must partner with Livongo in order to use it
  • The registration code used to sign up can be obtained through your participating healthcare provider or by calling the Livongo Member Support Center

Good Glucos

The newly-launched Good Glucos offers a recurring test strip subscription service that bills monthly.

U.S.-based subscribers can choose to receive between 50 and 350 test strips per month, in increments of 50. Subscribers can choose to receive their test strips monthly, every 3 months or every 6 months. The packages range in price from $25 to $123 per month.

Good Glucos is currently promoting a giveaway to win 100 free test strips a month for a year for those who sign up to receive email updates.

Read The “Good” in Good Glucos, an interview with founder and CEO Elliot Gatt.

Pros

  • Zero charge for shipping and handling
  • There’s no contract — you can change your order or cancel at any time
  • Good Glucos is active on their Instagram and Facebook page, which is helpful for users looking to stay informed about the company
  • Good Glucos also has a giving model: for every 12 subscribers, Good Glucos will give away one 12-month subscription to someone for free

Cons

  • Only a meter, no app to accompany for logging and tracking bgs

Accu-chek To

Roche’s Accu-chek To program aims to elevate everyday glucose testing with some bonus goodies. The Swiss company offers two options for subscribers: 1 box of 50 test strips, which comes with “a handful” of Accu-chek’s “favorite items,” or 2 boxes of 50 strips and the favorite items.

1-box packages cost $30 per month and 2-box packages cost $50 per month. The packages are shipped every 1, 2, 3, or 6 months (depending on your preference) and subscribers are billed monthly.

Pros

  • First-time Accu-chek users are offered a free meter and can choose from 3 options: the Accu-chek Aviva, the Accu-chek Nano and the Accu-chek Aviva Connect.
  • Free snacks and skincare products
  • Free ground shipping is included for the boxes

Cons

  • Keep an eye on your credit card: you will be automatically billed for your subscription unless you choose to suspend or cancel it

Before subscribing to any kind of service, be sure to do your due diligence and make sure the company is legitimate.

Do you have any thoughts about test strip subscriptions? Join the conversation: check out the Beyond Type 1 Community thread about test strip subscriptions and let us know what you think!


Read How to Test Blood Sugar and Daily Diabetes Care Kit.

Katie Doyle

Katie Doyle is a writer and videographer who chronicles her travels and diabetes (mis)adventures from wherever she happens to be, and she’s active in the community as an IDF Young Leader in Diabetes. She’s written about dropping her meter off of a chairlift in the Alps, wearing her pump while teaching swim lessons on Cape Cod, and the many road trips and fishing expeditions in between—she’s up for anything and will tell you the story about it later. Check out www.kadoyle.com for more.