Medicare does not pay for all medical equipment and supplies that you use in the home. Below are some common examples of equipment that Medicare does not cover.
- Equipment that is not suitable to use in the home. This includes some types of DME used in hospitals or skilled nursing facilities. For example, paraffin bath units and oscillating beds.
- Equipment mainly intended to help you outside of the home. For example, if you can walk on your own for short distances, enough to get around your house, Medicare will not cover a motorized scooter that helps you get around outside the home.
- Most items that will make things more convenient or comfortable for you. This includes stairway elevators, grab bars, air conditioners and bathtub and toilet seats.
- Items that get thrown away after use or that do not get used with equipment, will not be covered by Medicare. For example, Medicare does not cover incontinence pads, catheters, surgical facemasks and compression leggings. However, if you receive Medicare home health care, Medicare will pay for some disposable supplies, such intravenous supplies, gauze and catheters.
Medicare will also not cover modifications to your home, such as those for improving wheelchair access, like installing ramps or widening doors.
Keep in mind that Medicaid may cover some forms of equipment that Medicare will not cover, contact your local Medicaid office for more information.
To find out if Medicare covers the equipment or supplies you need, call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov. You can also find out about Medicare coverage of DME by contacting your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Find the phone number for your state’s SHIP by visiting www.shiptacenter.org.