If you need medical equipment and supplies and you live at home, it’s important to learn what Medicare covers. Whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan, the rules for which pieces of equipment are covered should be the same. Medicare Part B will cover equipment that you use in the home if it qualifies as durable medical equipment (DME).
DME is equipment that is durable, meaning you can use it again. Also, the items must be
- Designed to help a medical condition or injury;
- Suitable to use in the home (although you can also use them outside the home); and
- Likely to last for 3 years or more.
Some examples of DME covered by Medicare are walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, power scooters, seat lifts, hospital beds, home oxygen equipment, diabetes self-testing equipment, and certain nebulizers.
Medicare will also cover certain prescription medications and supplies that you use with your DME, even if they are disposable or will 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.
Remember, there are some kinds of equipment and supplies that Medicare does not cover.
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.