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Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

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Durable medical equipment (DME) is medical equipment that helps you complete daily activities and to aid in a better quality of living. The equipment is designed to help a medical condition or injury; suitable to use in the home (although it can be used outside the home); and likely to last for three or more years. Some examples of DME include air-fluidized beds, canes, commode chairs, home oxygen equipment and supplies, hospital beds, therapeutic shoes and inserts, walkers and wheelchairs, just to name a few.

This is something you will want to discuss with your doctor. Medicare will only pay for this equipment if your doctor signs an order or prescription stating that you need it for a medical condition or injury.

Costs and rules vary depending upon your insurance coverage and where you live. You will want to make sure the equipment is purchased through a Medicare-contract supplier. Typically, original Medicare will cover 80 percent of the cost of your equipment and your supplemental insurance will pay the remaining 20 percent.

For more detailed information, you can visit the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov.