If you want Medicare to help cover your durable medical equipment (DME) costs, it is important to use the right supplier.
Original Medicare DME suppliers
The type of supplier you use depends on where you live and the type of equipment you need.
- If you live in a competitive bidding area, Original Medicare only covers DME from a select group of supplies, known as contract suppliers. Competitive bidding is a program designed to lower DME costs and improve DME quality in certain parts of the country.
- If you do not live in a competitive bidding area, or the item you need is not part of the program, you should get your DME from a Medicare-approved supplier that takes assignment.
Note: In all regions of the United States, if you order your diabetes supplies through mail order, you must use a contract supplier. Mail order includes diabetes supplies that are mailed to you by a supplier or that are delivered to your home by a pharmacy.
Medicare Advantage DME suppliers
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you must follow the plan’s rules for getting DME. Your plan may require that you:
- Receive approval from the plan before getting your DME.
- Use a supplier in the plan’s network of suppliers.
- You may get little or no coverage if you use an out-of-network supplier.
- Use a preferred brand.
- You may pay a higher cost when using a non-preferred brand.
People with Medicare Advantage Plans are not affected by competitive bidding. Contact your plan to learn more about its DME coverage rules before ordering your DME.