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Medical Equipment At Home

Paying For Home Medical Equipment

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If you have health insurance

Check the policy to find out if home equipment is covered. If there is a question, call the insurance company. If the answer is “yes,” ask to be pointed to the specific policy provision so you can understand what it provides.

If the answer is “no”:

  • Ask for a supervisor who has authority to make a decision about coverage. You may have to go high up the chain of command to get to the appropriate person but it is worth the time it takes to find the right person.
  • Explain to the person in economic terms why it is in the interest of the insurance company to pay for the equipment. Generally the argument would run something like: “To rent this piece of equipment costs $1,000 a week. If I don’t get the equipment, I will have to be in a hospital. In my area, hospital stays cost $1,000 a day or $7,000 a week. Isn’t it cheaper for you to pay for the rental than for me to be in the hospital? This is especially true when you add the risk of my getting an expensive-to-cure infection that comes with hospital stays these days?”

If you don’t have health insurance or it doesn’t cover home medical equipment

Explore the possibility of getting the equipment for free. Contact your disease specific nonprofit organization. If the organization doesn’t have a service which provides free or low cost medical equipment, it may be able to direct you to a local resource. For instance, local community groups may supply equipment for free or a low charge.

If you cannot get equipment for free, determine whether it is less expensive to purchase or to rent it. If you will need the equipment for a long time, it may be cheaper to purchase it. You can likely work out a payment plan which doesn’t cost more per week or month than a rental.

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