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Does Medicare Cover Oxygen?

Medicare Part B covers oxygen equipment rentals for use in your home if prescribed by your doctor. Medicare may also cover oxygen contents and the supplies needed for oxygen delivery if you own your equipment. Find out if your eligible for coverage below.

Oxygen Rentals

If you are enrolled in Medicare Part B and your oxygen equipment is prescribed by a doctor, Medicare should cover costs related to your equipment rental.

If you rent oxygen equipment and receive coverage under Medicare, you’ll need to rent the equipment from a supplier for 36 months. After that period concludes, your supplier will continue providing oxygen equipment and supplies for another 24 months (a total of five years), as long as you have a medical need for oxygen.

Medicare Part B covers oxygen equipment and:

  • Tubing
  • Mouthpieces
  • Oxygen contents
  • Maintenance of your equipment
  • Repairs of equipment

After you’ve rented your equipment for 36 months:

  • Your supplier must ensure equipment is in good condition and working order. This requirement continues until the end of your five-year rental period, and the supplier cannot charge you for these services.
  • Medicare will continue paying for the delivery of oxygen contents after your 36-month rental period.
  • If your medical needs extend past five years, your supplier does not have to continue supplying oxygen contents and equipment. 
  • A new five-year supplier obligation period begins after the first five-year period ends. You will have the option to switch to another supplier at this time.

If You Own Your Equipment

Medicare will likely cover the cost of the contents and supplies needed for delivery if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • Your doctor says you’re not getting enough oxygen or have severe lung disease
  • Your health may improve with the help of oxygen therapy
  • You experience a drop in arterial blood gas levels, within a certain range
  • Other medical alternatives have failed

If you meet these conditions, Medicare will cover:

  • Oxygen-delivery systems
  • Oxygen-storage containers
  • Tubing and other supplies needed to deliver oxygen and oxygen contents

Costs

Even if Medicare helps pay for your oxygen equipment, there are some out-of-pocket costs that you should be prepared to pay, including:

  • Part B deductible ($183 per year in 2018)
  • Part B coinsurance (20 percent of all Medicare-approved costs for oxygen therapy)

Your Part B deductible must be met before Medicare will begin paying its share (usually 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount of a service).

Medicare Supplement Insurance

The out-of-pocket costs of oxygen therapy can add up. Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) helps cover some of Medicare's out-of-pocket costs, including your Part B coinsurance and copayment.

The level of coverage you receive from Medigap will depend on the specific plan you choose. To learn about the Medigap plans available to you, speak with a licensed agent at 888-264-0148.

To learn more about the types of services that Medicare covers, read through our guide What Original Medicare Covers.

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