Generally, Medicare will only replace your DME if the item has been in your possession for its whole “lifetime.” The definition of lifetime varies depending on the type of equipment but is never fewer than five years from the date that you began using the equipment. In addition, the item must be so worn down from being used on a day-to-day basis that it can no longer be fixed.
However, if you lose equipment that you rent or own, if it is stolen, or if it suffers irreparable damaged in an accident or a natural disaster, Medicare should cover a new piece of equipment with proof of the damage or theft.
“Replacement” refers to the replacement of one item with an identical or nearly identical item (e.g. one manual wheelchair for another; not to switch from a manual wheelchair to an electric wheelchair or a motorized scooter).
If you want a different kind of equipment, your doctor must write you a new order or prescription with an explanation of the medical need and it must be approved by DME MAC in your area.
To find out how to get Medicare to cover your DME items, click on the link in the GO TO box.