Medicare Your Coverage Options

Medicare covers oxygen equipment and supplies

Written by Diane Archer

Medicare covers the rental of oxygen equipment and supplies if you meet the qualifying criteria—you must have a doctor’s visit, and your doctor must sign a written order for the equipment, explaining why it is medically necessary. You must also use a Medicare-certified supplier.  If you have traditional Medicare, you can call Medicare for a list of suppliers or visit this link:  www.medicare.gov/supplier. If you are in a Medicare Advantage plan, call the plan to find out which suppliers you can use.

Medicare will not pay for you to own the equipment.  Here’s how it works:

  • Medicare covers 80 percent of the cost of a five-year rental term for oxygen equipment, oxygen and supplies under Part B.  You are responsible for the 20 percent, which a Medigap plan or retiree insurance should cover.
  • Medicare will pay its share of the cost of the rental for three years.  At that point, both Medicare and you have no financial obligations for the equipment during the next two years. While the supplier still owns the equipment during those two years, you can keep it. You will only need to cover the 20 percent of the cost of the liquid or gaseous oxygen you use each month.
  • After five years, if you still need oxygen you can choose whether to stick with your current supplier or switch to a different Medicare-certified supplier.
  • If you stop needing oxygen before the five-year rental term ends, you can simply let the supplier know it can be picked up.
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