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How do I purchase durable medical equipment?

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If your doctor said you need durable medical equipment, or DME, here's what you need to know about how to buy or rent it.

If you're managing a health condition or recovering from an operation, you might need durable medical equipment, or DME. Durable medical equipment includes things like wheelchairs, oxygen machines, walkers and hospital beds. 

Just like medication, your doctor will write a prescription for the equipment you need. You can usually choose to rent or buy it. Before you pay, it's a good idea to make sure your plan covers it.

Does my Medicare plan cover durable medical equipment?

All Medicare plans cover basic equipment for you to use at home. If you need something more advanced, your plan may still cover it if your doctor says it's medically necessary.

Usually, you'll only be responsible for paying coinsurance. However, each plan covers durable medical equipment a little differently.

  • Some plans only cover certain brands or equipment from specific manufacturers.
  • Some plans require you to pay a deductible before they begin to pay for your durable medical equipment.

If you're a member, check your plan's Evidence of Coverage to learn what applies to you. You can also find information about what your plan covers in the My Coverage section of your account at bcbsm.com.

If you're shopping for insurance, learn more about our Medicare plans.

Tip: Are you looking for diabetic supplies or prosthetics, like braces and artificial limbs? Our plans cover these items, but not as durable medical equipment. Look for them separately in your benefit documentation.

Where can I rent or buy durable medical equipment?

Medicare Plus BlueSM PPO members: Use our Find a Doctor tool to locate providers near you. 

BCN AdvantageSM HMO-POS or HMO members: Northwood, Inc. fills your prescriptions for durable medical equipment. To find a Northwood provider near you, call or go online:

     Call 1-800-667-8496
     TTY users call 711
     8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
     Monday through Friday
     Visit their website: northwoodinc.com


Medigap members: Go to medicare.gov to find a provider.

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Page Last Updated Fri Jun 06 17:10:27 EDT 2014