Test strip toss-up

I realize this is totally a first-world diabetes problem. I have seen just one of the many places in the world where having any type or amount of test strip is a complete luxury.


I am having trouble deciding which test strip prescription to refill.

Until I got the VerioIQ about four months ago, I used OneTouch Ultra strips for years and years in various meters. My prescription coverage considers OneTouch a preferred brand so once the Verio strips were added to the plan (oddly enough – months after the meter itself was added) I switched to that meter.

A few months ago I won (sort of) the iBGStar in a contest. It came with ten strips but no prescription coverage at the time. I used a few strips on a plane ride and a few at Disneyworld. And then I ran out of strips.

It is time for me to refill my prescription so I checked the iBGStar coverage last week and the strips are now covered as a non-preferred brand.

During dinner with Martin last week we talked about how there is no perfect pump and no perfect meter. That’s probably why this decision is difficult for me. Each of the options have features I want but also features that are missing.

OneTouch Ultra

  • As a preferred brand, $0 co-pay on my insurance.
  • Compatible with the Ping so I can use the remote bolus feature as needed
  • Information uploads into Diasend from Ping and UltraMini – a feature strongly preferred by my endo


  • As a preferred brand, also a $0 co-pay
  • The light on the test strip port is a thing of wonder
  • Uploads into Diasend
  • Before and after meal tagging so easy I’m actually doing it and being alerted to a few patterns
  • Perceived improved accuracy over the Ultra strips
  • Cuteness factor


  • Very much a non-preferred brand, but with the Star Savings Program, I would only have to pay a $20 co-pay.
  • Dude. There is an app for that.
  • One less thing to carry. I’m feeling the burden of the quantity of devices right now.

My insurance will only let me fill one prescription at a time and I don’t have the out of pocket money afford to pay for the others on my own. Before the iBGStar became a possibility for me, my plan was to just switch back and forth between Ultra and Verio so that I would have a back-up supply to remote bolus as needed. I have a one box of Ultra now and just a few boxes of Verio left.

How do I decide between cost, compatibility, fancy patterns and lights, size, and all the other differences?

Why can’t I just merge them all into one perfect meter?


  • There are so many nice things from so many nice meters. Why can’t we have a Build-A-Meter store since the kids get Build-A-Bear? That way we can all get what we want with the features we need, want and use.

  • I came into this post with my sleeves rolled up, my gavel in my hand, and whatever else could make me ready to hand down a verdict. But you’re right. It’s impossible to choose.

    The VerioIQ rep said it (VIQ) *is* the remote for the Ping in Europe. When PingUSA gets over whatever hurdle for VIQ to be a remote, Ping users will be able to trade up to the new Ping for the low low price of $100 + one old Ping. That is when everything will be perfect and no one will be sad again.

    Two additional things about the VIQ that I like are that it’s re-chargable and uses less blood, so we get fewer Err5’s.

  • I want a Build-a-Bear store for BG supplies!!! Nice idea Sara 🙂

    Are your strips covered under the pharmacy or DME benefit? Mine are covered under DME so it doesn’t matter what strips I get – they’re all the same copay. You can also combine different kinds with each shipment, which is what I do. I wish everyone would have the option! Since I found the new calibration code that works better for my PDM, I’m mainly using that. But I can’t let go of the Verio altogether so use that occasionally. (Plus I like the Nano too but wish it had a port light) Since they are all possibilities, I think you should figure out which one has the most benefit outweighing the negatives. Should be easy right? 😉

  • Personally, I believe the ability of a meter to talk-to and sync-with with my other devices is a huge plus. That, along with cost, are the real scale-tippers. The “cuteness factor” is only relevant in settling a tie, as are the nice-to-haves (like the test-port light) . If your sync’d-device-reports give both BGs and boluses, the before/after meal tagging becomes moot. I also have an unexplained (and unjustified) animosity towards all things Apple. [Sent from my Android device]

    So, if it were me, the only question would be whether the improved accuracy on the VerioIQ is perceived or really real, and if it is real, how much better is it?

  • I can’t wait to start using the iBGStar. Is it really small as far as carrying wise? I JUST got a new prescription filled for my one touch strips and then they told me they could order the iBGStar for me, so obviously I have to wait until the next round of strips for insurance purposes. On a side note, why is it that test strips always have to come in these big cyclinder cases? You could fit 25 of those in the wrapping of a stick of gum…it’s so unneccessary, drives me nuts!

    • It’s unbelievably small! You probably won’t experience this, but when I realized how small it was I tried to find a smaller purse to carry the rest of my stuff (wallet, phone, etc). I found out that I have been carrying so much around for so long, I don’t really have any small purses. Shopping!!!

      Oh, and the iBGStar includes 50 strips in the canister so it is a bit of an improvement over all the wasted space of the other ones.

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