Have you just found out that you need to use oxygen therapy? Starting the process can be daunting because of all the different options available for patients. Today, the main options for patients on oxygen therapy include tanks and concentrators. Tanks and concentrators both have their advantages and disadvantages. While tanks are much cheaper, many people opt for oxygen concentrators instead because they are much more convenient, require less work and can save money in the long run by cutting out the need for oxygen refills. Since the initial cost can seem expensive, many patients ask: "Will Medicare cover the cost of home oxygen concentrator?"
The last few years have seen quite a bit of change in Medicare costs, due in part to Obamacare, as well as other economic factors. It's important and necessary to keep up on changes in Medicare, if you or a loved one is receiving benefits.
Whether these changes will benefit you or not, it's good to stay informed so that you can make the right decisions. You don't want to suddenly realize that you have to pay a lot more for your medication after the start of the new year.
In your pursuit of receiving good health care, one of the first and most important things you should do is find a great doctor. Once you've chosen a doctor, it's time to set up the first appointment. This first appointment is very important because even though you've decided on a doctor, your decision isn't over yet.
There are important questions that need to be asked, and things to look for to make sure your new doctor will work well with you in managing your healthcare. Think about this first appointment as a job interview, and you are the employer, the only difference being that your well being is what is most important. Even though your doctor is a professional, he or she is not the one in charge of managing your healthcare, you are. Alternatively, think of them as a guide, information source and partner in maintaining your well being.
Many people with COPD and other chronic medical conditions need to use oxygen therapy on a daily basis. In some cases, medicare will cover a portion of the costs of oxygen therapy equipment, as long as the requirements are met. Private health insurance plans work the same way, but it depends on the company, and which medical supply companies accept policies with which companies.
With all of the requirements and variables involved in getting your oxygen therapy equipment covered, you might have plenty of questions. In this mini online guide, we will try to answer as many of your potential questions as possible. We would be happy to answer any questions in our custom service department.
Just like with most laws for how medical coverage works, these laws are subject to change. The newest set of medicare rules started on January 1, 2009. Don't worry – you will still be able to get your oxygen equipment covered, and the rules that changed have only resulted in minor changes.
Changes in How Medicare Pays for Oxygen Equipment
The old law used to state that after the first 36 months of your medicare coverage, you would own your oxygen equipment. That would mean that if medicare helped you pay for a stationary oxygen concentrator, after 36 months you would be the owner of that oxygen concentrator. Once you no longer require the concentrator, or if you get a different one, you would need to return it to the medical supplier.
If your COPD or other lung condition is severe enough, your doctor will prescribe the use of medical oxygen therapy. Medicare, which covers necessary medications and supplies to people over the age of 65, or in some cases, under the age of 65, will cover the costs if you are eligible. With COPD, you will definitely need oxygen therapy to stay healthy, just as any other kind of medicine works. There are a few other requirements you will need to meet to have your oxygen therapy supplies covered under medicare.
What are the Medicare Requirements?
When your doctor determines that you need medical oxygen therapy to function in day-to-day life, he or she will write you a prescription for all the things you will need. You will need prescriptions for all of the supplies you need, this includes the oxygen concentrator as well as all of the filters, batteries and tubing, to purchase them and have them covered by medicare.
Medicare will request your medical records, to make sure you physician has specifically documented your need for medical oxygen therapy. Your condition must be well-documented for them to approve your claim.
This is the first and most important step, because you won't be able to change the type of equipment or delivery system for 5 years. Your doctor will help you decide which oxygen therapy delivery system is best for your condition and your lifestyle. Then you can take your prescription to the medical supplier and get a certificate of medical necessity, which they would then present to medicare.
What types of oxygen delivery systems are available?
There are two main types: gaseous and liquid oxygen. For delivery systems, there are stationary oxygen concentrators, which filter oxygen from the ambient air, and can only run on AC power. Portable oxygen concentrators can run or charge up a battery on AC or DC power, depending on the model. There are also refillable oxygen tanks, as well as special tanks that can be filled at home with a home fill system.
Oxygen concentrators can be very pricey. You might be able to make payments, such as 90 days same as cash, or other payment plans like Paypal for you oxygen concentrator. You can also try having medicare cover at least part of the cost of the oxygen concentrator that your need.
Medicare is for those who are over the age of 65, and for those who have a special medical condition or a disability. It also requires that you have worked for a certain amount of time during your life, so you would have paid medicare taxes long enough to be granted access to it. Your premium (the amount you pay) also depends on certain factors. You can go to the official medicare website for more information: http://www.medicare.gov.
Colorado Public News stopped by our offices and shot a video about home medical equipment and medicare. It features our Customer Service Manager, John More.
Colorado Public News has found that oxygen concentrators, used by patients who have trouble breathing, are a prime example of the high cost of renting home medical equipment. Years of investigations and reforms haven't fully solved Medicare's problem with overpaying, partly due to orders from Congress.