Ultimate Guide to Medicare and Buying an Oxygen Concentrator

A Guide to Renting Oxygen Concentrators

Are you going on a trip? Do you require oxygen therapy? If so, you’ll want to consider the ease of renting an oxygen concentrator! Here at AMSR, our rental program provides oxygen users with the unique opportunity to use an oxygen concentrator for a set period of time without having to purchase it. Interested in learning more? Check out the links below.

Table of Contents:



How to Rent an Oxygen Concentrator

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Step by Step Process:

  • 1. Step One
  • 2. Step Two
  • 3. Step Three
  • 4. Step Four

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Portable vs. Stationary Oxygen Concentrators

Here at AMSR, our rental program features an extensive fleet of both portable and stationary oxygen concentrators to meet your medical and lifestyle needs. Not sure if a portable or stationary unit is right for your trip? Read below!

Portable Oxygen Concentrators:

Portable oxygen concentrators (or POCs) have been on the market for almost 20 years. They operate the same way as a stationary or home concentrator in that they are able to take the air around it and convert it into medical grade oxygen.

Portable concentrators were designed to provide patients with more freedom than a tank or stationary unit. There are many benefits to renting a portable unit, for example: you will never run out of medical grade oxygen, it is usually small and light-weight, and it will not require any refills – only a power source. Portable machines can vary greatly in oxygen generating capacity, size, battery life, and cost.

Is a Portable Unit Right for Me?:


A portable unit is an ideal travel companion for those looking to receive oxygen therapy on the go. Our portable rental units can weigh as little as 5 pounds with rechargeable battery and be as small as a women’s handbag.

There is a chance a portable unit may not be right for your needs. Although the lightweight and portability aspects are fantastic, the smaller and lighter a unit becomes, the less capacity it has for higher flow rate settings. That means, the level of oxygen therapy you require will and can rule out certain available models due to their lower oxygen capacity.

Stationary Concentrators:

A stationary concentrator is designed to provide a patient with medical grade oxygen while in the home. They run primarily via AC (wall outlet) power. These units are robust and typically kept in a central location and operated from within the home environment with a long tube (up to 50 ft). The typical home concentrator has settings from 1 liter per minute to 5 liters per minute of oxygen flow.

The good news is, is that advancements in technology have improved on all of the key features. Units are much quieter, more energy efficient, and much lighter; some weighing in as light as 10 lbs!


Is a Stationary Unit Right for Me?:


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Regaining Your Freedom with an Oxygen Concentrator

Flow Rates & Settings

Available Units

What Unit is Right for Me?

Our trained experts will ask questions to help understand your needs and then walk you through an easy selection process. But first, there are a few key factors in selecting a POC.

Oxygen Generating Capacity:

This is the most important aspect of your selection because it insures your medical needs will be met. It is important that you know and understand both what your medical requirements are as well as what any POC you consider can provide.

Most oxygen being delivered is prescribed in liters per minute (lpm) of continuous flow. The most common flow setting is 2 lpm with about 70% of oxygen users on this setting. Newer technology POCs disburse the oxygen is something called a “pulse dosage” (or pulse dose). In pulse mode, a small bolus (or puff) of oxygen is delivered via the cannula every time a patient takes a breath. Most equipment has pulse settings of 1-3 or 1- 5 etc. A range of settings allows a patient to adjust the dose to fit their exertion levels. Our oxygen experts will help make sure the size unit chosen will fit your needs.

Size:

Most people will have a selection of units that will meet their medical needs and they will be able to select from a group of units the ones that will best match their lifestyle. POCs can range in size from as small as 2 lbs to as large as 18 lbs and everything in between. This range opens up a wide range of activities – for instance the lightness of the 2 lb unit is best suited for light exertion daytime use while at the other end of the scale, the 18 lb unit is the most powerful on the market and good for 24 hour use.

Battery Life:

Portable units provide patients with freedom but they do require a power source. All of our POCs run on 3 types of power: AC (wall outlet), DC (car cigarette lighter) and Batteries. One of the distinguishing factors between portable units is their style and longevity of battery life. Some units have an internal battery that lasts an hour and other units have batteries lasting up to 8 hours. Most batteries are lithium ion rechargeable batteries. Battery life varies with both the unit and the setting the unit is being run on. Ask our oxygen experts to help explain the battery life tables for the units in which you are interested.

Cost:

Not surprisingly, the cost of POCs can also vary greatly. Like most electronics, the newest and smallest technology is typically the most expensive. Alternatives do exist however and there are several high quality units available across a range of prices. Additionally, as portable concentrators have become more popular, we have been able to offer our customers gently used products at a more attractive price point. New POCs roughly run from $1,800 - $4,500. Used units can be typically found between $995 - $2500. Used home units can be found from $499.

Why Choose AMSR?

Medicare & Insurance Coverage

Cost:

If you currently are on oxygen therapy, it is likely that your current oxygen solution was covered under Medicare, insurance, or a combination of the two. The most common question we get is, “Will Medicare cover the purchase of a new POC?” In order to best help navigate this question, we have created the following tutorial. We know it is confusing, so feel free to call and talk to one of our oxygen experts.

Will Medicare cover the cost of my POC?

It seems like there should be a simple YES or NO answer to this question but unfortunately there is not. The best way to explain the situation is to start with a few facts, and then a few FAQs.

Medicare Facts:
  1. Medicare coverage for Oxygen Therapy Equipment is provided via a long-term (5 year) monthly rental contract through a Medicare provider. Medicare pays providers a monthly FEE for providing patients with oxygen.
  2. A Medicare provider is required to provide a patient with a solution for within the home (home or stationary concentrator) if the patient only needs oxygen at night or a home concentrator and a portable solution (i.e. tanks or POC) if the patient needs oxygen 24 hours a day.
  3. A Medicare provider is NOT required to provide a patient any particular equipment and specifically, does not need to provide a patient with a portable oxygen concentrator. The most common solution is a stationary “home” concentrator and refillable oxygen tanks.
  4. Medicare does not reimburse for any out-of-pocket expenses and Medicare will NEVER pay for the PURCHASE or short-term rental of an oxygen concentrator.
  5. Many supplemental insurance companies WILL cover some or all of the PURCHASE or RENTAL of a portable oxygen concentrator.
Based on these facts, it is our recommended action to always start by talking to your current Medicare or Insurance provider and see if they will provide you with the equipment you are looking for.

Additional FAQs on Medicare and Insurance:

I heard from a friend that their Portable Concentrator was covered by Medicare.
There are situations where a patient has been provided a long-term (monthly) rental of a Portable Oxygen Concentrator via Medicare (typically new patients). If you are currently under contract for oxygen with a Medicare provider, you should ask your CURRENT MEDICARE OXYGEN PROVIDER if they will provide you with a Portable Oxygen Concentrator. They may be willing to provide you with a portable oxygen concentrator.
My provider says they CAN NOT/WILL NOT provide me with a Portable Oxygen Concentrator.
This is very common, as Medicare re-imbursement has declined. Many patients are learning it gives them freedom to PURCHASE their own portable oxygen concentrator while maintaining their Medicare provided solution as a back up.
So how do I get a Portable Concentrator?
For those who are tired of dealing with a bureaucratic government agency and providers that do not seem to listen to your needs, AMSR provides the perfect alternative. AMSR offers out-of-pocket purchase and short-term rentals for oxygen concentrators. We also offer rent-to-own and easy financing solutions (PayPal Financial) for qualified applicants.
My insurance is paying for my unit but I have a large co-pay, what should I do?
It is not uncommon for people to make co-payments on oxygen equipment that are fairly large. If you are currently making a co-payment over $50/ month, it will make sense for you to talk to one of our specialists. Many times the outright purchase of a unit can pay for itself in as little as several months.
Will my supplemental insurance cover this?
They might! Many supplemental insurance companies will cover some or all of the purchase or rental of a portable oxygen concentrator. It depends on the insurance provider, of course, but many have their own requirements and qualifications. It is best to call your provider and inquire what kind of coverage your plan offers for an oxygen concentrator.

Airline Regulations

Cruise Regulations

Cruise Regulations

Financing Options

If purchasing a gently used unit or renting doesn’t interest you there is still an option available for the budget conscious patient. In addition to the Oxygen Concentrator Store’s standard payment options of cash, credit cards, and wire transfers, weuse PayPal Credit as a financing option for our customers.

Paypal Credit:

Paypal Credit is a PayPal service that lets you buy now and pay later. Think of it as a secure, instant, and reusable credit line without the plastic. Paypal Credit is available as a payment option at thousands of online stores and once added to your PayPal account, it can be used almost everywhere PayPal is accepted.

View additional information on Financing Options

Traveling with Your Rental

How To Use Your Rental

Frequently Asked Questions



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