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Durable Medical Equipment

Durable Medical Equipment are items such as walkers, wheelchairs, and hospital beds that are used in the home. Medicare will cover certain durable medical equipment only if your physician prescribes it. To be prescribed the durable medical equipment must be: durable, or reusable, used for a medical purpose, and primarily used at home. Durable medical equipment is covered under Medicare Part B.

Some examples of items that qualify as durable medical equipment are, but not limited to: Oxygen equipment and supplies, walkers, wheelchairs, hospital beds, infusion supplies, and patient lifts. Remember, these items should be used primarily at home. If you are residing in a nursing home or hospital, and that facility is providing you with Medicare covered care, it may not be considered your home. If you are staying in a skilled nursing facility, that facility will usually provide the durable medical equipment you need. If you need durable medical equipment, make sure your doctor and durable medical equipment supplier are enrolled in Medicare. If you doctor or supplier is not enrolled, Medicare will not pay the claims they submit. Without any type of supplemental insurance, you typically will be responsible for 20% of the Medicare approved amount. Also, if you are on a Medicare Advantage Plan you may have copays or coinsurance. One last thing. There are companies out there that will place outbound calls to Medicare beneficiaries offering to send you durable medical equipment or other items for free. A lady told us just last week this happened to her. The company offered to send her a knee brace at no cost. She didn’t need the knee brace but they wanted to send it anyway. These companies will send you the item, then bill Medicare. Remember, nothing is free!! Someone is always paying.

If you have questions regarding any aspect of Medicare or Medicare health plans feel free call us at Alabama Health Guidance (256-648-5710), stop by our office at 885 Florence Blvd (Four Lane Shopping Center) or email me at

Alabama Health Guidance is an independent insurance agency and is not affiliated with Medicare or any other government agency.


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