What is durable medical equipment and how do I get it?

Who is this for?

Michigan Health Insurance – Customer Service – Learn More

If your doctor says you need durable medical equipment, this information will help you understand what that means and how to find out what's covered by your plan.

Sometimes, when you’re recovering from an operation or an illness, you need a little extra help maintaining your quality of life. You might need a wheelchair to get around, an oxygen tank to help you breathe or supplies to help you manage your diabetes. Or maybe you've just had a baby and need breastfeeding supplies like a breast pump. That's durable medical equipment, or DME.

Just like with medications, your doctor will be able to tell you what you need and write a prescription for you. You can usually rent or buy this equipment.

What does my plan cover?

We only cover basic equipment that you can use at home. If the equipment you want has special features that aren’t medically necessary, we’ll need to approve it in advance. 

If it isn’t medically necessary or it’s considered deluxe, you can pay the difference.

When you purchase medical equipment, you might have out-of-pocket costs, like copays or coinsurance. To find out, log in to your account at bcbsm.com.

  1. Click My Coverage in the blue bar at the top of the page.
  2. Click Plan Documents in the left-hand column.
  3. Scroll down the page to view documents about your plan coverage in the Certificates and Riders section
If you have any questions, call the customer service number on the back of your Blues ID card and we’ll help.

Tip: If you have a BCN Advantage℠ HMO-POS or HMO plan, Northwood, Inc. fills your prescriptions for durable medical equipment. If you need help finding your local Northwood provider, please call 1-800-667-8496 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you have a Medicare Plus Blue℠ PPO or PPO plan, use bcbsm.com to locate a provider.