Choosing Better Medical Equipment

Understanding Your Health Insurance | Durable Medical Goods

As a patient, understanding your health insurance coverage can be confusing and, sometimes, overwhelming. One aspect that may cause confusion is durable medical goods coverage. Here's what you need to know about durable medical goods, medical devices, and equipment prescribed by a healthcare professional and whether or not they are typically covered by your health insurance policy.

What Are Durable Medical Goods?

Durable medical goods are medical devices and equipment that can withstand repeated use and are designed to serve a medical purpose. In other words, they can be reused. A bandage can be used once, but many medical devices are meant to be used over and over by the patient. 

These medical devices are prescribed by a healthcare professional to aid in the treatment of a medical condition and can range from simple devices like crutches to more complex devices like ventilators. They are typically used for a prolonged period to maintain health, treat a condition, or aid recovery. 

What Medical Devices Are Considered Durable Medical Goods?

Some common examples of durable medical goods covered by most health insurance plans include:

  • Wheelchairs and power scooters
  • Walking aids such as crutches, walkers, and canes
  • Oxygen equipment
  • Chair lifts 
  • Breastfeeding pumps
  • Orthotics and prosthetics
  • Diabetic supplies
  • Incontinence supplies
  • CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines and other sleep apnea devices

Check with your health insurance policy to see what is covered and what is not. 

What Medical Devices Are Not Often Covered By Insurance?

While many durable medical goods are covered by insurance, some devices are not. Every insurance policy is different. Some medical devices that yours may not cover include hearing aids, cosmetic devices, cold therapy, and weight loss devices. 

If you need a durable medical good that is not covered by your insurance, there may be options available. You can speak to your healthcare professional about alternative devices that may be covered, or you can reach out to your insurance company's customer service line for information on what is covered. Additionally, there may be financial assistance programs available through your state or nonprofit organizations that can help with the cost of medical devices.

Understanding health insurance coverage of durable medical goods is crucial for patients and their families. These medical devices help improve the quality of life for patients, but it's important to understand what devices are covered by insurance and what devices may not be. By having this knowledge, patients can work with their healthcare providers and insurance providers to ensure access to the devices they need to manage and treat medical conditions. 

Contact a local medical device service to learn more.