Medicare rules for oxygen equipment

New Rules for How Medicare Pays Suppliers for Oxygen Equipment

Changes in law require Medicare to change the way it pays suppliers for oxygen equipment and supplies. You will still be able to get your oxygen equipment.However, you should know about the new rules that start January 1, 2009.Previously, the law stated that you would own the oxygen equipment after you rented it for 36 months. Under the new law, the rental payments will end after 36months, but the supplier continues to own the equipment. The new law then requires your supplier to provide the oxygen equipment and related supplies for 2additional years (5 years total), as long as oxygen is still medically necessary.

How does Medicare pay for oxygen equipment and related supplies and what do I pay?

The monthly rental payments to the supplier cover not only your oxygen equipment, but also any supplies and accessories such as tubing or a mouthpiece,oxygen contents, maintenance, servicing and repairs. Medicare pays 80% of the rental amount, and the person with Medicare is responsible for any unpaid Part B deductible, and the remaining 20% of the rental amount.

What happens with my oxygen equipment and related services after the 36 months of rental payments?
Your supplier has been paid over 36 months for furnishing your oxygen and oxygen equipment for up to 5 years, and your supplier is required to continue to maintain the oxygen equipment (in good working order) and furnish the equipment and any necessary supplies and accessories, as long as you need it until the 5 year period ends. The supplier can’t charge you for performing these services.If you use oxygen tanks or cylinders that need delivery of gaseous or liquid oxygen contents, Medicare will continue to pay each month for the delivery of contents after the 36-month rental period. The supplier that delivers this equipment to you in the last month of the 36-month rental period must provide these items, as long as you medically need it, up to 5 years.

Will Medicare pay for any maintenance and servicing after the 36-month period ends?

If you use an oxygen concentrator or trans filling equipment (a machine that fills your portable tanks in your home), for 2009 only, Medicare will pay for routine maintenance and servicing visits every 6 months starting 6 months after the end of the 36-month rental period.

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