For Consumers

Will Medicare pay for my medical equipment (like blood sugar monitors and wheelchairs)?

Medicare Part B (medical insurance) covers durable medical equipment (DME), 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
  • Blood sugar monitors
  • Blood sugar (glucose) test strips
  • Canes (Note: White canes for the blind aren't covered)
  • Continuous passive motion (CPM) machine
  • Commode chairs
  • Crutches
  • Hospital beds
  • Infusion pumps and supplies (when necessary to administer certain drugs)
  • Nebulizers and nebulizer medications
  • Oxygen equipment and accessories
  • Patient lifts
  • Sleep apnea and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices and accessories
  • Suction pumps
  • Traction equipment
  • Walkers
  • Wheelchairs and power mobility devices

Who's eligible?

All people with Part B are covered.

Your costs with Original Medicare

Generally, 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.

Where can I get Durable Medical Equipment?

If you're on Original Medicare and live in King, Pierce, Snohomish or Clark counties, 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).