Durable medical equipment (DME) is equipment that helps you complete your daily activities. It includes a variety of items, such as walkers, wheelchairs, and oxygen tanks. Medicare usually covers DME if the equipment:
- Is durable, meaning it is able to withstand repeated use
- Serves a medical purpose
- Is appropriate for use in the home, although you can also use it outside the home
- And, is likely to last for three years or more
- Hospital beds
- Power scooters
- Portable oxygen equipment
- Certain diabetes supplies
Medicare also covers certain prescription medications and supplies that you use with your DME, even if they are disposable or can only be used once. For example, Medicare covers medications used with nebulizers. Medicare also covers lancets and test strips used with diabetes self-testing equipment.
Note: There are also certain kinds of equipment and supplies that Medicare never covers.
To find out if Medicare covers the equipment or supplies you need, or to find a DME supplier in your area, call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov. You can also learn about Medicare coverage of DME by contacting your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).