Medicare does not allow you to purchase items outright, which means you won’t need to pay your coinsurance in one payment. In addition, it protects Medicare from paying too much, if your needs change sooner than expected.
Medicare makes rental payments for 36 months for oxygen therapy. For an additional two years after this time, Medicare limits payments to fees for monthly gas or liquid contents and limits service fees for checking equipment to once every six months.
After purchasing an item, you are responsible for calling the provider when it needs to be repaired or serviced. Medicare will pay a portion of the cost of labor, repairs, replacement parts, and loaner equipment when yours is being serviced. This is contingent that you meet the coverage criteria and still require the item at the time of repair or servicing.
In certain areas, Competitive Bidding requires the use of Medicare contracted suppliers. If you live in these areas, the contracted supplier will need to provide you with the following items:
- Oxygen and related supplies and equipment
- Standard power wheelchairs, scooters, and accessories
- Rehabilitative power wheelchairs and accessories, for Group 2 only
- Mail order supplies for diabetes
- Enteral nutrition supplies and equipment
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and Respiratory Assist Devices (RAD), accessories and supplies
- Hospital beds and accessories
- Walkers and accessories
- Support surfaces (Group 2 mattresses and overlays for Miami only)
You can determine if your zip code is located in a Competitive Bidding area by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can also check Medicare.gov and enter your zip code for suppliers in your area. There will be a notice, if you live in an area that is subject to Competitive Bidding.