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En español | Medicare Part B helps to pay for many items of medical equipment and supplies that help you function — for example, wheelchairs, artificial limbs, pacemakers, commode chairs, hospital beds, appliances to help breathing, neck and back braces, oxygen supplies and many more. The equipment must be durable (long-lasting). With only a few exceptions, Medicare doesn’t cover disposable items.

To qualify for Medicare coverage, the equipment or supplies must be:

  • Medically necessary for you — not just convenient
  • Prescribed by a doctor, a nurse practitioner or another primary care professional
  • Not easily used by anyone who isn’t ill or injured
  • Reusable and likely to last for three years or more
  • Appropriate for use within the home
  • Provided by suppliers that Medicare has approved

For some items — such as oxygen equipment or a seat lift to help you get into and out of a chair — Medicare requires a doctor to fill out and sign a certificate of medical necessity; without it, Medicare will deny coverage.

Medical equipment is most often rented, but some items may be purchased. Either way, you must get it from a Medicare-approved supplier. To find approved suppliers in your area, go to the supplier directory on Medicare’s website at https://www.medicare.gov/supplierdirectory/search.html.

If you are in the original Medicare program, Medicare pays 80 percent of the cost of covered equipment and supplies and you’re responsible for the remaining 20 percent, unless you have additional insurance (such as Medigap) that covers this cost. 

For more information, and to find out how to select an approved supplier, see the official publication “Medicare Coverage of Durable Medical Equipment and Other Devices.”  (https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11045-Medicare-Coverage-of-DME.PDF)


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