The following is a slighly revised (added links) copy of a review I wrote for the ReliOn Test Meter on Walmart.com recently. I briefly cover it and the strips, compare it to the meter my insurance company provided me, and the reasons why I chose to purchase it.
When I was diagnosed with diabetes my insurance provided me with Bayer Contour Next EZ meter and strips. I quickly realized that the other brand was going to cost a lot to test as often as I really needed to, at least at the beginning. to get a hold on my disease and being to manage it well. The online community at the ADA highly recommended this meter and strips for it value and reliability, as did a close personal friend so I bought this meter and a pack of strips to try out.
The meter is a pretty basic, no frills model; it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of my other meter or some of the other ones that you can get. But it does the job and it is much cheaper in the long run, even with insurance co-pay, than any other brand/model I’m aware of. I put all of my readings into a paper and electronic (iPhone app) log anyway so the “extras” aren’t needed anyway.
The only negative things I can say about the meter/system are in comparison to the Bayer Contour Next EZ that my insurance company started me out with: This system is a little more finicky in that it “wicks” the blood in differently, from the center of the tip of the strip, which took a few tries to get right, and seems ti take a tad more blood to get a reading without getting an error code (E13 I think) for “not enough blood applied” to read. Both the meters say they give you a little time to add more is you don’t’ get it right the first time without wasting the strip; I have not been successful in getting either to actually do that though yet, so both get a “fail” on this claim in my opinion.
The readings/accuracy from my experience and testimonies from other users seems very good. I have to say that it is a good value and great option for those who want/need to test more often than you doctor or insurance company prescribe/allow for or for those that might not have insurance. In my case, the doctor has allowed for two tests.day but I know that I need to test at least twice, maybe more, than that at this early stage to get a handle on what my body does with different foods and exercise. I couldn’t afford to do these extra tests with the Bayer meter because of the cost of the strips/ even with insurance paying toward the Bayer strips, the ReliOn strips are going to be cost me less out of pocket to just but them outright. This system not only work but makes good financial sense, too. And the my local Walmart seems to carry a good, steady supply of the strips so there are no worries about running out and having to wait on mail-order deliveries.