| Yes. Medicare Part B covers doctor and outpatient services as well as prescribed equipment and supplies for home use that are deemed medically necessary.
It must be considered durable. The federal government calls this category durable medical equipment (DME). This equipment must withstand repeated use and includes blood sugar meters and test strips, commode chairs, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and accessories, hospital beds, infusion pumps and supplies, oxygen equipment and accessories, walkers, wheelchairs and scooters, and other devices.
Medicare also covers prosthetic and orthotic items such as:
- Arm, back, leg and neck braces
- Artificial eyes and limbs
- Breast prostheses following a mastectomy
- Ostomy bags and related supplies for those who have had operations to control digestive or urinary tract diseases
- Therapeutic devices, such as shoes or inserts for diabetics with foot problems
- Urological supplies
What may be denied. What won’t be covered are other items that you may need medically but are considered disposable, such as catheters, compression socks, incontinence pads, rolled elastic bandages and surgical face masks. Also likely to be rejected because they’re considered as being for your convenience and not medically necessary are items such as an air purifier, a bathtub lift and a raised toilet seat.
How does the equipment qualify for coverage?
To pass Medicare’s test for coverage, the equipment or supplies must be:
- Considered medically necessary, not just convenient
- Deemed appropriate for use within the home
- Determined to be reusable and likely last for three years or more
- Identified as essential to help you and your condition, not those who don’t have the illness or injury