Medicare Part B (medical insurance) covers durable medical equipment (DME) (www.medicare.gov), as long as it's medically necessary and for use in your home. Only your doctor can prescribe durable medical equipment for you.
Medicare covers the following DME, but it's not limited to:
- Air-fluidized beds and other support surfaces (these supplies are only rented) (www.medicare.gov)
- Blood sugar monitors (www.medicare.gov)
- Blood sugar (glucose) test strips (www.medicare.gov)
- Canes (Note: White canes for the blind aren't covered) (www.medicare.gov)
- Commode chairs (www.medicare.gov)
- Continuous passive motion (CPM) machine (www.medicare.gov)
- Crutches (www.medicare.gov)
- Hospital beds (www.medicare.gov)
- Infusion pumps and supplies (when necessary to administer certain drugs) (www.medicare.gov)
- Manual wheelchairs and power mobility devices (www.medicare.gov)
- Nebulizers and nebulizer medications (www.medicare.gov)
- Oxygen equipment and accessories (www.medicare.gov)
- Patient lifts (www.medicare.gov)
- Sleep apnea and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices and accessories (www.medicare.gov)
- Suction pumps (www.medicare.gov)
- Traction equipment (www.medicare.gov)
- Walkers (www.medicare.gov)
All people with Medicare Part B are covered.
Your costs with Original Medicare
If your supplier accepts Medicare, you pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount after you meet the Part B deductible. Medicare pays for different kinds of DME in different ways. Depending on the type of equipment, you may need to rent the equipment or buy it, or you may be able to choose whether to rent or buy the equipment.
Note: Medicare will only cover your DME if your doctors and DME suppliers are enrolled in Medicare and accept Medicare's approved amount (i.e., assignment) in full. If the suppliers are enrolled in Medicare, but don't accept Medicare's approved amount in full, there's no limit on the amount they can charge you. So be sure to ask first if they accept Medicare.
Where can I get Durable Medical Equipment?
If you're on Original Medicare and live in or are visiting Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue or Vancouver, you need to get your DME through the Medicare Competitive Bidding program (www.medicare.gov).
If you're on Original Medicare, Medicare also offers a national mail-order program for diabetic supplies through suppliers in your local area (www.medicare.gov).