Medicare Coverage, Durable Medical Equipment

Medicare and Durable Medical Equipment: Coverage and Guidelines

Some illnesses and conditions require the use of durable medical equipment as part of the treatment process. Medicare does cover DME charges, but not everything is covered. To learn what is covered by Original Medicare, keep reading. 

What is Durable Medical Equipment?

Durable Medical Equipment (DME) is any medical equipment or supplies that a health care provider orders their patients to use daily or for an extended period. Some examples include oxygen tanks, crutches, wheelchairs, and canes. These devices can be surprisingly expensive, so it is always helpful to find that Medicare covers the costs for you. 

Is DME Covered by Medicare?

Yes, DME is covered by Medicare. While Medicare will not help you acquire all types of DME, there is a broad list of covered devices available on the website. If the machine you need is listed there, rest assured that it will be covered by your Medicare plan. But, remember, you will still need to pay any applicable coinsurance costs to receive the devices you need. 

What Types of DME are Covered?

According to the website, the types of DME that are covered include but are not limited to:

  • Blood sugar meters 
  • Blood sugar test strips
  • Canes 
  • Commode chairs
  • Continuous passive motion machines, devices & accessories 
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines
  • Crutches
  • Home infusion services
  • Hospital beds
  • Infusion pumps & supplies
  • Lancet devices & lancets
  • Nebulizers & nebulizer medications
  • Oxygen equipment & accessories
  • Patient lifts 
  • Pressure-reducing support surfaces
  • Suction pumps
  • Traction equipment
  • Walkers
  • Wheelchairs & scooters 

You may also not be able to purchase the equipment outright and instead be asked to rent it. Usually, short-term DME is rented while DME that is needed long-term would be purchased. Keep in mind that not every supplier is enrolled in Medicare, so only purchase or rent equipment from approved parties. Otherwise, your costs won’t be covered when you make a claim.