Navigating Medicare and Insurance for Durable Medical Equipment

A woman helps her elderly mother use her walker, a piece of durable medical equipment she needs to get around.

Affordable durable medical equipment for seniors is within reach. Learn about Medicare and insurance coverage options in our latest blog post.

Do you think an older loved one could benefit from more safety in the shower or bathtub? Does he or she require a walker or rollator to get around? If so, it’s very likely that you’ll soon be looking to purchase the in-home durable medical equipment that so many families depend on to help older adults stay independent and safe. It’s also likely that you’re asking yourself how to cover the cost for these adaptive items, and if any of them could be covered under Medicare or insurance.

Like in-home care services, there are several different possibilities when it comes to purchasing home care supplies and equipment. Below are several of the options available to assist you or a loved one in obtaining home medical supplies.

Medicare

If the older person has Medicare Part A and is approved for the Home Health Benefit, then Medicare will pay for 80% of the allowable fee for medically necessary durable medical equipment. If they are covered by Medicare Part B, they are not required to qualify for the Home Health Benefit, and Medicare will cover 80% of the allowable amount for medically necessary durable medical equipment.

Veterans’ Administration (VA)

The Veterans’ Administration is specifically helpful in providing durable medical equipment to people who qualify. Veterans or the spouse of a veteran may be qualified for benefits.   

Other Methods to Pay for Home Care Equipment

If an individual does not qualify for Medicare or to receive benefits from the Veterans’ Administration, there are a few other methods to help cover the cost for home care products. Following are a couple of tips for using long-term care or health insurance and private finances to purchase the equipment needed:

Long-Term Care Insurance/Health Insurance

If the equipment or supplies needed are medically necessary, they could be partly covered by some private insurance carriers. Coverage is either according to the person’s coverage, or, if the person seeking coverage is a dependent, then the family policy should be reviewed for specifics on dependent coverage.

Bear in mind, however, that while having your insurance provider cover some of the cost may seem like a good idea, it may be possible to find the products you need at an “out of network” supplier with a reduced price.

Private Finances

If your family member requires home care equipment that is not covered by private insurance, try looking into equipment rental solutions or formerly owned items such as wheelchairs, scooters and accessible vans. Used equipment can be found in disability publications as well as on websites such as www.Craigslist.org, www.ebay.com, and www.unitedaccess.com.

If you would like further assistance either in selecting or acquiring home care equipment and other adaptive devices for a loved one, contact Partners In Care today. We offer a complimentary in-home consultation, can make equipment recommendations, arrange for order and delivery, and answer any other home care questions you may have. Contact us at (530) 268-7423. Our team serves seniors and families in Lincoln, Auburn, Sacramento, and communities throughout the Greater Sacramento area.

Shaun Clinkinbeard