Oxygen Concentrator Store Internet Pricing & Discounts
As with most aspects of the medical world, the pricing on oxygen concentrators can be confusing. We have created an overview to help customers navigate and better understand the marketplace.
There are two major types of oxygen concentrators: Home Concentrators and Portable Concentrators
Home Oxygen Concentrators:
Home oxygen concentrators are units that reside inside the home or medical facility. They are typically continuous flow machines (deliver oxygen at a continuous flow measured in liters per minute) and the patient has mobility via a 50 ft tube/canula. These units are typically grouped by their liter per minute flow
of oxygen (3 LPM, 5 LPM, 7 LPM, 10 LPM, 15 LPM). These units typically weigh between 30 - 50 lbs and operate under AC power.
Portable Oxygen Concentrators:
Portable oxygen concentrators were designed to provide patients with increased mobility (outside of the home and a 50 ft tube/canula. Some of these units operate in PULSE only mode (oxygen is delivered in pulse doses triggered by breathing in) and some operate in BOTH pulse and continuous lpm flow. These units all operate via battery, AC Power and DC power (plug into a car cigarette lighter). The units from the major manufacturers are also all approved for airplane travel. The PULSE only machines are typically weigh between 7-10 lbs and the machines that operate under both PULSE and CONTINUOUS flow weigh between 15 - 17 lbs. The maximum lpm flow for any available portable concentrator is 3LPM.
Oxygen Concentrator Pricing:
The price variance for any product will vary dramatically based upon where it is purchased and the quality of the support you will receive.
Each manufacturer has established a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. This is the price that the manufacturers have established as their recommended price. Many small or local providers will sell the product at this price. What is included for this price will vary slightly but typically it will include the following:
Home Concentrators - Concentrator, manual, canula and manufacturer's warranty (warranty will vary with the supplier and the purchase price)
Portable Concentrators - Concentrator, manual, AC charger, DC charger, one or more batteries, cart, carrying case, manual and manufacturer's warranty (warranties will vary with the supplier and the purchase price).
While the manufacturers always allow a distributor or retailer to sell a product at any price they desire, many request that suppliers ONLY publish on their internet sites the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) or the Minimum Advertised Price (MAP).
This MSRP or MAP pricing is typically NOT the true selling price so it is important to call or e-mail the retailer.
Listed below is a summary of the price ranges available:
Internet Pricing & Discounts
|MSRP Range||Internet Pricing (new)||Internet Pricing (used)|
|Home Concentrators (5 LPM)||$1500 - $2200||$650 - $900||$200 - $500|
|Home Concentrators (10 LPM)||$1500 - $2500||$1000 - $1500||$400 - 800|
|Portable Concentrators||$3995 - $4495||$2400 - $3500||$1500 - $2000|
As you can see there is significant variation in price - it pays to shop around. Prices will also vary as suppliers attempt to move inventory. It is always important when comparing products to make sure you are comparing "apples to apples" as the models, warranty and support will vary greatly.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What are some of the key differences between suppliers ?
Answer: Most people buying a new concentrator do not want to think that the unit will fail. Unfortunately, it has been our experience that particularly the portable concentrators get used (and carried around) so they do sometimes have failures and require maintenance. One of the key differences in price is what is the support and assistance you receive AFTER the sale. We recommend asking the following:
1) Verify in writing what the manufacturer's warranty is on the product and when warranty starts and ends. For several suppliers, the warranty BEGINS when it arrives at the retail location so if the unit has sat on the shelf, it could have less than the stated warranty remaining. Don't be fooled by sales people saying they are techs and they fix the units because as of January 1, 2011, there are NO internet retailers approved to repair portable units (many are approved to repair home concentrators). Similarly, don't be fooled by local providers telling you they will be able to provide you "better" help if your unit fails. A reputable internet dealer who deals in volume will give you as good or better assistance with getting your unit repaired by the manufacturer (saving you lots of money).
2) Many retailers advertise support. Call off hours BEFORE YOU BUY and see if someone answers the phone and if they are able to assist you with your questions or problem. You should "expect" an answer during the stated business hours. You should also "expect" a qualified response and solution to your problem within 24 hours.
3) Specific questions for the support function should include:
- What happens if this unit does not work for me?
- What happens if this unit is a lemon and fails in the first 90 days?
- What happens if it fails within the warranty period?
- What happens if it fails outside of the warranty period?
A reputable retailer will be committed to taking care of the customer and have good processes for each of these questions.
2. How can I tell if I am buying from a reputable supplier?
Answer: There are many reputable providers on the internet but unfortunately it is not always easy to tell a reputable supplier from one that is not. Many have false advertising stating "30 years in business" or a nice store front picture when they are operating as a marketing
arm in another state. We recommend the following:
1) BBB rating and approval. All reputable internet companies have some sort of certification. BBB has proven to be reliable across the US as an agency that has gone in and actually verified the business and their operation.
2) It should go without saying, always check the information on the provider. There are many websites with incomplete or non-existent addresses and contact information. Never purchase a unit from an address you can not verify on Google Maps or other satellite mapping software.
3) Most of the major manufacturers now add or list their "authorized retailers" on THEIR website. Don't be fooled by internet sites that state "authorized dealer" because it is easy to copy and paste graphics on a website. If you are unsure, call the manufacturer directly and verify the provider is an authorized retailer.
4) Check references. If you don't know someone who has purchased from a supplier, ask for a reference. A reputable retailer will be able to refer you to either a health organization or forum that can give you an honest assessment. Testimonials on a website are nice but are easily fabricated.
3. Does Medicare cover Oxygen Concentrators?
Answer: Yes, Medicare does often cover oxygen therapy. The most common Medicare solution includes a home oxygen concentrator and a supply of oxygen tanks for portability. Some Medicare providers also have portable oxygen concentrators a patient can rent or borrow for travel. There are also some Medicare providers do provide portable oxygen concentrators for portability. If you are you are ALREADY receiving oxygen tanks through Medicare, it is unlikely Medicare will cover a portable oxygen concentrator but we recommend talking to your current provider.
4. Does Insurance cover Oxygen Concentrators?
Answer: Insurance coverage varies dramatically. We encourage patients to contact their insurance company for coverage. A reputable retailer will be able to provide you with an invoice and appropriate codes so if you purchase a unit, you can file the claim with your insurance company.
5. Is a prescription required?
Answer: Prescriptions are required for the purchase of a concentrator. This legal requirement actually protects the customer in two ways: the first is that it helps ensure the customer is getting a product that will meet their needs; the second is that it again helps distinguish the reputable suppliers from ones who are operating outside standard legal parameters.
APRIA & LINCARE Customers receive 10% any rentals with the code APR or LIN. Please let our sales associates know if you are an APRIA or LINCARE patient.