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Dear Marci

Dear Marci

December 9, 2021 | 12:28 AM

Will Medicare cover my durable medical equipment?

Dear Marci,
I have been having difficulty moving around my home, and my doctor wants to order some kind of durable medical equipment (DME) for me. Does Medicare cover DME?
-Patricia (Kailua, HI)
Dear Patricia,
Durable medical equipment (DME) is equipment that helps you complete your daily activities. It includes a variety of items, such as walkers, wheelchairs, and oxygen tanks. Medicare usually covers DME if the equipment:

To be covered by Part B, DME must be prescribed by your primary care provider (PCP). If you are a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or hospital inpatient, DME is covered by Part A.

Whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan, the types of Medicare-covered equipment are the same. Examples of DME include:

Under the durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) category, Medicare Part B also covers:

Medicare Part B also covers certain prescription medications and supplies that you use with your DME, even if they are disposable or can only be used once. For example, Medicare Part B covers medications used with nebulizers. Medicare also covers lancets and test strips used with diabetes self-testing equipment.
Note that there are also certain kinds of equipment and supplies that Medicare does not cover, such as equipment for use mainly outside the home, and most equipment that is thrown out after one use or not used with equipment.
To find out if Medicare covers the equipment or supplies you need, or to find a DME supplier in your area, call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit You can also learn about Medicare coverage of DME by contacting your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

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