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Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers medically necessary durable medical equipment (DME) that your doctor prescribes for use in your home. Only your doctor can prescribe medical equipment for you. DME meets these criteria:
Durable (can withstand repeated use)
Used for a medical reason
Not usually useful to someone who isn't sick or injured
Used in your home
Has an expected lifetime of at least 3 years
DME that Medicare covers includes, but isn't limited to:
You may be able to choose whether to rent or buy the equipment.
Medicare will only cover your DME if your doctors and DME suppliers are enrolled in Medicare. Doctors and suppliers have to meet strict standards to enroll and stay enrolled in Medicare. If your doctors or suppliers aren’t enrolled, Medicare won’t pay the claims submitted by them.
It’s also important to ask your suppliers if they participate in Medicare before you get DME. If suppliers are participating suppliers, they must accept assignment. If suppliers are enrolled in Medicare but aren’t “participating,” they may choose not to accept assignment. If suppliers don't accept assignment, there’s no limit on the amount they can charge you.
Competitive Bidding Program
If you live in or visit certain areas, you may be affected by Medicare's Competitive Bidding Program. In most cases, Medicare will only help pay for these equipment and supplies if they're provided by contract suppliers when both of these apply: