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Home Medical Equipment: Understanding Coverage and the Best Equipment for You

insurance coverage home medical

In 2014, spending for durable medical equipment (DME) in the United States broke $46.4 billion. Insurance providers received and filed millions of claims seeking coverage – but how do they decide which cases deserve assistance?

Most insurance providers’ criteria for DME coverage asks that supplies be:

  • Durable (long-lasting)
  • Used for a medical reason
  • Not typically useful to someone who isn’t sick or injured
  • Able to restore and maintain standard quality of living

With that criteria, select versions of items like CPAP devices, crutches, and manual wheelchairs fit the bill. However, a host of assistive devices don’t qualify as medically necessary – think grab bars, knee walkers, tub benches, lift chairs, bed assist handles, and over bed tables.

Without the help of insurance, DME can place a heavy financial burden on ailing individuals. As you search for health supplies not covered by insurance, ask yourself these questions to save money where possible, courtesy of the professionals at HomePro Medical Supplies:

Do I have the option to rent? If your medical equipment is needed for a temporary instead of permanent condition, consider renting instead of buying supplies. Wheelchairs for rehabilitation, portable oxygen concentrators for long-distance travels, and home monitoring systems for post-surgery care may be rented for a smaller fee than you’d pay for purchasing.

Have I researched all funding options? Finances extend beyond insurance and personal savings. Each state offers varying levels of assistance to elderly and disabled individuals, providing funds for medical equipment separate from Medicaid assistance. A number of non-profits and foundations at both the local and national level extend funds for specific ailments, ranging from prosthetics for amputees to shower chairs for Muscular Dystrophy patients. In certain cases, your home medical equipment can be claimed with Dependent Care Tax Credit or Medical and Dental Expense Tax Credit.

Even if it’s covered, is it my best option? Not all products within the same category are treated equally. While your insurance provider may cover a selection of neck braces, for example, they may not cover the brace option you’ve found to be the most effective. Save your co-pay on an option that doesn’t meet your needs and invest it instead in the supplies that truly makes a difference for you.

Do I truly need this? If insurance didn’t deem it medically necessary, evaluate if you should do the same.  Assistive items should drastically improve your quality of life, and you can save money by purchasing only supplies that meets a significant need.

The professionals at HomePro Medical Supplies can help you find the quality, best-fit equipment you need at the price you can afford. Don’t hesitate to contact us for answers or assistance.

Incontinence Supplies: When to Save and When to Spend

incontinence supplies

The average incontinence patient spends $700-$800 each year on pull-on underwear alone. Factor in additional products like wipes, creams, and bed pads, and the cost only continues to climb. Thankfully, the right investment strategy can ease the economic burden, and HomePro Medical Supplies recommends these spending tips to make the most of your money:

When to save:

  • You can mix both washable and disposable: In milder cases of incontinence, a blend of both washable and disposable supplies can provide cost-effective protection, comfort, and convenience. For example, a premium pair of disposable briefs paired with a quilted reusable underpad can ensure a comfortable and dry night’s sleep.
  • You can buy in bulk: Save money by buying diapers, underwear, and pads in bulk. You’ll cut down on packaging and shipping costs by purchasing larger quantities at once, and you can easily stock these nonperishable supplies in a dry pantry for later use.
  • You can shop online: Pharmacies and chain stores might charge upwards of 50% more for the same premium incontinence products you can find online through private distributors. Purchasing through an online outlet like HomPro will also connect you to a representative that works with you to find the right products for your needs from the very first purchase, preventing an investment in supplies that don’t work for you.

When to spend:

  • You’re a moderate to heavy user: If your incontinence is overactive or reflexive, you understand the sudden urge to urinate and the dismay when a restroom isn’t nearby. An investment in high-quality, ultra-absorbent barriers is an investment in peace of mind. Additionally, because these dependable products are designed for maximum protection and comfort, they’ll require fewer changes throughout the day than a cheaper and less absorbent option, saving you money in the long run.
  • You experience difficulty at night: For nighttime incontinence issues, even the most heavy-duty diapers or briefs might need a second line of defense. Sitting on top of sheets, a quality bed pad will protect expensive bedding and mattresses from stains and mildew, absorbing overflow instead of leaking it like generic options.
  • You’re protecting your skin: No matter the degree of incontinence, skin care is critical. Household products like baby powder and cornstarch can’t keep skin clean and dry, trapping moisture instead and feeding bacterial growth that creates a skin irritation or infection. Investing in quality, formulated powders and creams protects not just skin, but overall health.

Bottom line: premium products may cost you more upfront, but they’ll save you bundles down the line on additional supplies cheaper options would require. HomePro Medical Supplies offers a range of high-quality products for the spectrum of incontinence needs, and we’d love to work with you to find a cost-effective solution. Give us a call to connect with a member of our professional staff today!

The Choice of Mobility: Manual vs. Power Wheelchairs

wheelchairs

The time has come to decide on a wheelchair. Whether you or a loved one has had a fall recently, or are acting based on the advice of a physician, using a wheelchair to get around is now a necessity.

But which is the best option? There are manual wheelchairs, propelled by the user or pushed by a caretaker. But there are also electric power wheelchairs that don’t require any assistance from others or physical strength to get around.

The simple answer is it depends. Is independence a priority? How much physical strength and stamina does the user have? How big is the budget? All of these questions need to be answered.

There are also pros and cons for both manual wheelchairs and power wheelchairs to consider as well.

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