When you’re in your golden years, you’d think it’d be more straightforward, but it isn’t. Getting on Medicare was confusing whether you waded through all the red tape or a loved one, and now you need to know what expenses they’ll pay on for you. Is durable medical equipment on, or do you need to pay out of pocket?
What a mess! If you’ve been struggling to understand how it all works, we’re here to help. The best news is Medicare can cover durable Medicare Equipment (DME). Still, there are different levels of coverage. Read on to learn whether Medicare will cover your DME.
What Is Durable Medical Equipment (DME)?
DME’s are things that you need to live an active life. Some of these include hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, bath chairs, commodes, dressing aids, artificial arms or legs, therapeutic footwear and oxygen tanks, and monitoring devices that require the best medical cable assemblies, among other items in this category. Medicare will generally cover these, but conditions apply. They must meet these definitions:
- It must be sturdy enough to withstand repeated use
- It must be needed medically
- Although it must be able to be used in the home, it could also be used outside as well
- Finally, it must be likely to last for at least three years, if not more
Will Medicare Pay For Durable Medical Equipment?
You probably want a straight answer, but the honest one is it depends. Medicare part B will cover your DME if prescribed by your doctor (primary care provider). If you are a patient of a skilled nursing facility or a hospital, then your DME will be covered by Medicare part A.
The types of Medicare-covered equipment should be the same, whether you have the original Medicare plan or the Medicare Advantage plan. Under these plans, wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, powered scooters, and portable oxygen equipment are covered under the DME category.
Medicare Part B also covers prosthetics, orthotics, and items in the supplies (DMEPOS) category. Some of these include prosthetic devices (all or part of an internal bodily organ); Prosthetics (artificial legs, arms, and eyes); Orthotics (rigid or semi-rigid leg braces for the arm, back, or neck), along with specific other items.
There are some DME items that Medicare will not cover. Some examples are Hearing aids, home adaptation items like lifts, grab bars for bathroom safety, and ramps. Still, this can vary by state, so it is a good idea to check with yours.
Aside from these, Medicare usually doesn’t cover disposable medical supplies. Still, there are some exceptions to this for patients with specific conditions like diabetes and those that require feeding tubes. When in doubt, always check with the experts.
Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Coverage
Life is never easy when you or your aging parent are dealing with the challenges brought on by age. Medicare doesn’t make it straightforward for anyone to understand their benefits, but there are many durable medical equipment items covered there.
Depending on your Medicare plan, many of your expenses for these items may be partially or fully covered. If you’re unsure, it’s always a good idea to check with them and your state to know your rights.
For more great health content, be sure to check out the other articles on this site.