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Obesity is a disease not a lifestyle
Modifying hardware on doors. You can include in medical expenses the cost of meals at a hospital or similar institution if a principal reason for being there is to get medical care. The concept of Medicare has remained the same for almost 50 years. A premium is the cost of your Health Care Plan that is automatically deducted from your paycheck - before taxes. Become disabled Qualify for a hardship withdrawal. For the Plan Year during which you satisfy the eligibility requirements, Direct Contributions will be made on base salary paid for full payroll periods after you satisfy the eligibility requirements i. Special enrollment periods vary depending on your circumstances.

Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric (Weight-Loss) Surgery

Recent political unrest regarding healthcare reform cast doubt over the future of the Medicare program. To date, few politicians have addressed Medicare directly — other than to suggest that it be privatized — and none of the Republican-backed bills that went before Congress included specifics about the Medicare program. The focus has instead been on the private market for health insurance non-group coverage and Medicaid, which is the federal-state program for low-income Americans.

Previous proposals, such as the AHCA, could have impacted Medicare indirectly because about 11 million Medicare enrollees are dual-eligible with Medicaid. If you would like to review your options for coverage under Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Supplement plan at any point you can quickly connect to a licensed Medicare specialist who can answer your questions and help you make an informed decision.

Speak with an Agent now. However, those who qualify due to one of the previously mentioned illnesses must sign up for a Medicare policy. Heading into retirement brings with it a handful of important decisions, including what to do about your health insurance.

President Trump swept into office on the wings of a promise not to touch Medicare and Social Security benefits. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services CMS released updated figures for original Medicare Parts A and B this week, including premium costs, deductibles and coinsurance amounts for those enrolled. While Medicare was initially designed to provide a means of healthcare that was affordable and accessible to seniors, it can still prove to be a financial burden to some, especially those who are on a low fixed income.

With this huge consumer base comes equally huge costs. But with so many people relying on Medicare, this financial outlay is essential. As with any other government programs, Medicare is continually being examined and improved.

This includes all four parts: Changes made after the Affordable Care Act took effect in are some of the most significant changes to happen to the program, which has altered very little since its beginnings in under President Lyndon B.

In , updates to Medicare include new payment and pricing changes, including millions of enrollees being spared from enormous Part B premium increases. Other big changes involve coverage for specific procedures and end-of-life care and counseling and how patients receive medical care. When it comes to Medicare , everything you need to know right now about specific plan costs centers on financial relief.

This rule applies to anyone who has Social Security deduct Part B premiums from their payments as well as other select Medicare beneficiaries; about 70 percent of program subscribers fall into the hold harmless group.

The remaining 30 percent of enrollees include those applying for Medicare Part B for the first time; those not currently collecting Social Security benefits; those with premiums paid by Medicaid dual eligible ; and those paying additional income-related premiums.

People who earn above a certain threshold pay more for Part B coverage. Here is the breakdown for This spared enrollees from the much higher premium increases. The premium increase from to was approximately 10 percent. In , dramatic changes were made to end-of-life options for Medicare, primarily in availability of newer options and how patients were counseled.

This makes Medicare the largest healthcare insurer during the last year of life. About 25 percent of all Medicare healthcare spending goes to these enrollees, many of whom have various serious and complex conditions. Among these are care in hospitals and several other settings, home healthcare, physician services, diagnostic tests and prescription drug coverage.

End-of-life services are controversial, due to their costs and the difficult discussions and issues surrounding them. But due to public outcry, this provision was quickly removed from the healthcare law. However, Medicare has reinstated this counseling. Hospice benefits also played a part in Medicare as it introduced the new Care Choices model. Previously, enrollees opting for hospice benefits had to give up most curative care.

But the new model allows those with terminal illnesses to receive hospice services without giving up treatment. Medicare also began covering advance care planning as a separate and billable service in Advance planning involves discussions between healthcare providers and patients regarding end-of-life care and patient preferences.

Medicare focused on how medical care was delivered to patients in Key areas included teamwork among clinicians, particularly that of primary care doctors; the timeliness of preventive services; and patients transitions between hospital and home.

Medicare estimated that nearly 8 million beneficiaries 20 percent of original Medicare were currently enrolled in Accountable Care Organizations ACOs. But Medicare kicked off a major expansion in Enrollees could select their own ACO for the first time, and they can opt out if they preferred.

In , more than , beneficiaries received hip or knee replacements. In addition, these surgeries require long recovery and rehabilitation periods. Their actual quality, in and out of the hospital, can also vary depending on the area and facility.

If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to call and speak with one of our healthcare professionals. Despite that fact, Part A is usually used in combination with another insurance policy, such as Medicare Part B, which covers general medical services.

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, hospice stays, home healthcare nurses, mental health inpatient stays and skilled nursing facility stays. The cost of inpatient hospital stays and mental health inpatient stays is explained in detail in the following paragraph. The participant must pay 20 percent of the total cost of home healthcare services and any necessary medical equipment; the Medicare Part A plan will pay the remainder.

Check out this guide for more detailed information about how Medicare works with hospice. The cost to stay in a skilled nursing facility varies per day. Day 1 through 20 is included in your policy. For inpatient hospital stays, Medicare requires patients to be admitted for two consecutive midnights for medically necessary reasons before it will pay a claim.

Under original Medicare, Part A covers the first 60 days of your hospital stay with no additional copayment once you meet the deductible. With the exception of lifetime reserve days, your benefits will start over once the plan year ends and a new one starts.

In addition to the actual bed and medical care, Part A will also cover the cost of meals, general nursing care, medicines prescribed while in the hospital, inpatient rehab facilities and mental health care.

You should enroll for Medicare Part A when you first become eligible. Those eligible due to age may first enroll three months before their 65th birthday, during the month of their 65th birthday, and for the three months following their 65th birthday, for a total of seven months.

Those eligible due to receiving disability benefits will be automatically enrolled into original Medicare Parts A and B on the 25th month of receiving disability benefits. If you miss the deadline for original Medicare, you can enroll during the general enrollment period, which runs from January 1 and March 31 each year.

This allows a participant to enroll outside of the normal deadlines. Special enrollment periods vary depending on your circumstances. Other SEPs exist for other times in your life, like moving to a new area or finding a higher-rated plan. It must be combined with Part A or another healthcare policy in order to avoid a tax for noncompliance.

Medicare Part B covers general medical services, like lab tests, surgeries and doctors visits that are not part of an inpatient hospital stay that would ordinarily be covered under Part A. More specifically, a claim will likely be covered under Part B if you have a claim that resulted from: In addition, Medicare Part B will cover all but 20 percent of the cost for clinical research studies. This will only advance science and medical advancements to ensure that future patients have access to the best and most revolutionary healthcare services and prescription medicines.

Part B will also cover all but 20 percent of the cost for emergency ambulance services to the hospital or transportation to a skilled nursing facility. However, the nearest medical facility must be able to provide the care that the patient needs. Examples of durable medical equipment would be: Medicare Part B will cover all but 20 percent of the cost of outpatient mental healthcare, while Part A would cover the costs of any inpatient mental healthcare required.

Part B also covers all but 20 percent of the costs of certain vaccination shots and particular types of prescription drugs that relate to various medical conditions. A full list of drugs covered by Part B can be found on Medicare. Similar to Part A, a person is supposed to sign up for Medicare Part B as soon as they reach the age requirement or the 25th month of receiving disability benefits.

It includes the actual month of the birthday or anniversary and ends three months after the birthday and anniversary month, for a total of seven months. Again, if they miss the initial deadline, a person can enroll during the open enrollment period OEP , which lasts between January 1 and March There will likely be a tax for not signing up for Medicare when first eligible.

An SEP occurs if someone is receiving health insurance through their employer. Or, they can qualify for an SEP if: This agency handles the enrollment process for CMS. Any Medicare Part C plan offered by a private health insurance company must basically include the same coverage as Medicare Part A and B do individually. This is a requirement of Obamacare. A person is required to sign up for a Medicare Advantage Part C plan either: The clock for this seven-month period begins three months before the month that the event birthday, disability occurs.

It includes the actual month of the event and ends three months after the event. This same time period applies to those who wish to switch to a different insurance company for their Medicare Part C plan. In particular, Part C does not offer hospice care. For instance, some Part C plans offer prescription drug coverage that is similar to a Part D plan. Medicare gives insurance companies money each month, per member, to offset the overall cost of coverage to the participant.

Every Medicare Part C plan varies in cost and coverage, based on the insurance company. MSA is explained in further detail below. Medicare Part D is used to cover prescription drug needs and is associated with a private health insurance company. A participant can also get prescription drug coverage through their Medicare Part C plan.

The purpose of Part D is to subsidize the costs of generic and name brand prescription drugs. The fact that certain drugs are discounted more than others also benefits the participant. They are then able to shop around and compare the prices of name brand and generic medications, based on what best fits their financial constraints. A newly qualified Medicare participant must also sign up for their prescription drug coverage when they first become eligible.

Their failure to do so will mean that the participant must pay a tax on top of their normal premiums when they do sign up outside of the enrollment period. A person who wishes to switch their Medicare Part D plan to a different insurance company can do so from January 1 to February Otherwise, Medicare requires the participant to sign up for a drug prescription plan either through Part D or Part C.

This enrollment period starts within three months before and after turning 65 years old or three months before and after the 25th month of receiving Social Security or RRB disability benefits. Technically, the term of enrollment lasts seven full months and commences three months prior to the month that the Medicare enrollment necessity event is triggered.

The month that the Medicare enrollment is triggered is month four; the three months subsequent to month four equate to seven months. A participant does not fall into the donut hole until they have reached a certain threshold.

Generally, the deductible amount, if there is one at all, varies per drug plan. In , Part D recipients will pay 44 percent of the cost for generic drugs. Under Obamacare, the amount that the Part D plan will pay will increase each year. And, the amount that the participant is responsible to pay will decrease until the year , when the participant will only be responsible for 25 percent of the costs of generic medications.

In , Part D will pay for 65 percent of the cost of a brand name drug and the Part D recipient will pay for the remaining 35 percent. Although Plan D will cover a larger percentage of a brand name drug, the overall cost of these drugs is much higher than generics. As such, it may not be financially feasible for many people.

The catastrophic coverage will pick up a larger majority of the cost of prescription drugs and will only pass a small coinsurance or copayment amount to the participant. If you or your spouse worked for 10 years and paid Medicare taxes along the way, then you most likely have the required work credits needed 40 to receive premium-free Part A. Enrollees are also eligible for premium-free Part A if they receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits or have an end-stage renal disease.

Premium rates for have not yet been released. This happened in and , so most enrollees pay a lower amount. The deductible is the same for everyone. Rates for have not yet been released. In , IRMAA surcharges will be based on a new income tier system that will effectively reclassify some enrollees into higher income brackets, forcing them to pay more than they might have in previous years.

Surcharge amounts have not been announced for , but the income tiers based on annual earnings are as follows:. Medicare calculates income based on tax returns from two years prior. For determinations, the government will use your tax return. As stated previously, the cost of a Part C plan will vary, depending on the company and type of plan chosen. The monthly premium for Medicare Part D also varies depending on plan and income level.

As with Part B, income determinations are made using tax returns from two years prior, and the same income tiers that Part B has are used to determine additional charges for prescription drug coverage. If you do not enroll in Part D coverage when you first become eligible for Medicare, you will have to pay a penalty for the same number of months that you went without Part D coverage.

The monthly premiums for the different Medicare plans are generally seen as affordable to participants. However, what can be unaffordable and financially taxing is the deductibles and copayments. For this reason, many participants opt to take on Medigap insurance, in addition to their traditional Medicare plans.

Implementation date- May 4, A supplier must obtain oxygen from a state- licensed oxygen supplier. A supplier must maintain ordering and referring documentation consistent with provisions found in 42 C.

Go Back Read Next: A respiratory assist device is covered if you have a clinical disorder characterized as I restrictive thoracic disorders i. Various tests may need to be performed to establish one of the above clinical disorders. Three months after starting your therapy you must return to your doctor or healthcare provider for a follow-up to confirm the machine is benefitting you and that you are regularly using the device.

Your physician or healthcare provider will be required to respond in writing to questions regarding your continued use along with how well the machine is treating your condition. If you are not using your machine for an average of four hours per night per 24 hour period at the time you meet with your doctor or healthcare provider, then you may be held responsible via an Advance Beneficiary Notice to pay for the rental until you meet this requirement.

BiLevel Devices are considered to be capped rental items, and that means they cannot be purchased outright. You will own the equipment after Medicare makes 13 payments toward the purchase of the equipment.

Depending on which product is ordered, your supplier may not be able to deliver this equipment to you without a compliant written order or certificate of medical necessity from your doctor or healthcare provider.

If the equipment is subject to these special rules, your supplier cannot get the documentation at a later date because if they do, Medicare can never make payment for those products to you or your supplier when a compliant order is not secured before delivery. Breast Prostheses Breast Prostheses are covered after a radical mastectomy.

One silicone prosthesis every two years or a mastectomy form every six months. As an alternative, Medicare can cover a nipple prosthesis every three months. Mastectomy bras are covered as needed. There is no coverage for replacement prostheses due to wear and tear before the specified time frames.

However, Medicare will cover replacement of these items due to: Loss Irreparable damage, or Change in medical condition e. A mastectomy bra is covered if the pocket of the bra is used to hold a covered prosthesis or mastectomy form. Cervical Traction Cervical traction devices are covered only if both of the criteria below are met: You have a musculoskeletal or neurologic impairment requiring traction equipment.

The appropriate use of a home cervical traction device has been demonstrated to you and you are able to tolerate the selected device. You are confined to a single room, or You are confined to one level of the home environment and there is no toilet on that level, or You are confined to the home and there are no toilet facilities in the home. Heavy-duty commodes are covered if you weigh over pounds. Commodes with detachable arms are covered if your body configuration requires extra width, or if the arms are needed to transfer in and out of the chair.

Raised toilet seats that are used to position hand bars over a regular toilet are not covered by Medicare. Compression Stockings Gradient compression stockings worn below the knee are covered only when used for the treatment of open venous stasis ulcers. They are not reimbursed by Medicare for the prevention of ulcers, prevention of the reoccurrence of ulcers, treatment of lymphedema or swelling without ulcers.

Medicare requires that you first meet with your physician or healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms and risk factors for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. After meeting with your doctor or healthcare provider, you must then have an overnight sleep study performed in a sleep laboratory or through a special, in-home sleep test to establish a qualifying diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Your doctor or healthcare provider may then prescribe a CPAP to treat your obstructive sleep apnea.

Medicare will initially cover a three month trial of this equipment. Medicare will also pay for replacement masks, tubing and other necessary supplies as prescribed by your doctor or healthcare provider. If during your sleep study or during your trial period the CPAP device is not working for you, or if you cannot tolerate the CPAP machine, your doctor or healthcare provider may prescribe a different device called a Bi-Level or a Respiratory Assist Device, and Medicare can consider this for coverage as well.

After the first three months of use, you will be required to verify if you are benefiting from using the device and how many hours a day you are using the machine. Per Medicare, a follow-up face-to-face visit with your physician or healthcare provider is required to document an improvement of your symptoms no sooner than 31 days and no later than 91 days from the set-up date. Talk with your supplier if you are having problems adjusting to the therapy or using the equipment every night. There are a lot of variations that can make the therapy more comfortable for you.

CPAPs and Bi-Levels are considered capped rental items, and that means they cannot be purchased outright. Newly established requirements of the Affordable Care Act require a specific office visit with your physician or healthcare practitioner to assess and document your need for this equipment take place and must then issue a compliant written order. Depending on which product is ordered, your supplier may not be able to deliver this equipment to you without a written order or certificate of medical necessity from your doctor or healthcare provider.

When at home, you may receive up to a 3-month supply at one time. You must have nearly depleted the supplies on hand to be eligible for additional products.

Medicare does not cover insulin injections or diabetic pills unless covered through a Medicare Part D benefit plan. Diabetics can obtain up to a three month supply of testing materials at a time. Medicare will approve up to one test per day for non-insulin dependent diabetics and three tests per day for insulin-dependent diabetics without additional verification of need. If you test above these guidelines, you are required to be seen and evaluated by your physician or healthcare provider within six months prior to receiving your initial supplies from your supplier.

In addition, you must send your supplier evidence of compliant testing e. If at any time your testing frequency changes, your physician or healthcare provider will need to give your supplier a new prescription.

Medicare began a namail - orderl order program in July of that requires you to get your diabetic supplies through one of approximately 20, nationally contracted suppliers for all testing supplies delivered to your home. Your supplier may not be able to deliver your glucometer to you without a written order or certificate of medical necessity from your doctor or healthcare provider. Glasses Medicare covers one complete pair of glasses, after the last cataract surgery with intra-ocular lens replacement.

The Medicare benefit includes a frame and two lenses. As an alternative, a pair of contact lenses can be covered in lieu of glasses. Pillows or wedges must have been considered and ruled out, or You require traction equipment which can only be attached to a hospital bed. Specialty beds that allow the height of the bed to be adjusted are covered if you require this feature to permit transfers to a chair, wheelchair or standing position. The total electric bed is not covered because it is considered a convenience feature.

If you prefer to have the total electric feature, your supplier usually can apply the cost of the qualifying hospital bed toward the monthly rental price of the total electric model.

You will need to sign an Advance Beneficiary Notice ABN and will be responsible to pay the difference in the retail charges between the two items every month. Hospital beds are a capped rental item, and that means they cannot be purchased outright.

Lymphedema Pumps Compression Pumps are not reimbursed by Medicare for the treatment of peripheral artery disease or the prevention of venous thrombosis blood clots. Lymphedema Pumps are covered for treatment of true lymphedema as a result of: This is a relatively uncommon, chronic condition , or Secondary lymphedema which is much more common and results from the destruction of or damage to formerly functioning lymphatic channels that may result from: The incidence of lymphedema from CVI is not well established.

However, Medicare has established guidelines for CVI with one or more venous stasis ulcers. When lymphedema extends into the chest, trunk or abdomen, a specialty pump can be considered. Before you can be prescribed a pump, your physician or healthcare provider must monitor you during a minimum, four-week trial period for lymphedema and six week trial for CVI with ulcers. During the trial your doctor or healthcare provider must document the results of other treatment options including limb elevation, regular exercise, compression bandage systems or compression garments, dietary adjustments, and the use of diuretic and similar medications as applicable.

Your doctor or healthcare provider should document pre and post measurements in your chart notes as each conservative treatment is evaluated. If, during the trial there is any improvement using these other methods, Medicare will not approve a pump. Medicare will only consider reimbursing for the pump when you have been unresponsive to the conservative treatment and there is no significant improvement over the required trial period the most recent four or six weeks.

Depending on which product is ordered, your supplier may not be able to deliver this product to you without a written order or certificate of medical necessity from your doctor or healthcare provider. Medicare-covered drugs other than Medicare Part D coverage All suppliers of Medicare-covered drugs are required to accept assignment on these items.

Very few medications are covered under your Part B benefit. Traditional Medicare Part B insurance will cover some nebulizer drugs, some infused drugs that require the use of a pump, specific immunosuppressive drugs, select oral anti-cancer medications and most parenteral nutrition. The Medicare Part D plans may provide additional coverage of other oral medications, inhalers and similar drugs. Mobility needs for daily activities within the home The lowest level of equipment required to accomplish these tasks.

The most medically appropriate equipment that meets your needs, not your wants Medicare requires that your physician or healthcare provider and supplier evaluate your needs and expected use of the mobility product to determine which item you will qualify for.

They must determine which is the least level of equipment needed to help you be mobile within your home to accomplish daily activities by asking the following questions: Will a cane or crutches allow you to perform these activities in the home? If not, will a walker allow you to accomplish these activities in the home?

If not, is there any type of manual wheelchair that will allow you to accomplish these activities in the home? If not, will a scooter allow you to accomplish these activities in the home? If not, will a power chair allow you to accomplish these activities in the home? Keep in mind if you have another higher level product in mind that will allow you to do more beyond the confines of the home setting, you can discuss with your supplier the option to upgrade to a higher level or more comfortable product by paying an additional out of pocket fee using the Advance Beneficiary Notice ABN.

Your home must be evaluated to ensure it will accommodate the use of any mobility product. A face-to-face examination with your physician or healthcare provider to specifically discuss your mobility limitations and need for mobility is required prior to the initial setup of a power chair, scooter or manual wheelchair.

In some cases for custom manual chairs and power mobility items you may also be asked to see a physical therapist or occupational therapist to determine the best fit and equipment selection.

The majority of all manual and power wheelchairs are considered capped rental items, and that means they cannot be purchased outright. If at any time you stop using your medications, please notify your supplier. Nebulizer machines are considered to be capped rental items, and that means they cannot be purchased outright. When at home, you may receive up to a 3-month supply of nebulizer accessories at one time. Non-covered items partial listing: Medicare will only pay for the shoe s attached to the leg brace s.

Medicare will not pay for matching shoes or for shoes that are needed for purposes other than for diabetes or leg braces. Ostomy Supplies Ostomy supplies are covered for people with a: If your symptoms are indicative of a chronic lung condition or other disease that requires long term oxygen therapy, Medicare will likely cover oxygen when the test results meet the coverage criteria outlined below.

Oxygen is not covered for acute illnesses like pneumonia or for exacerbations of an underlying disease, because this is considered a temporary, acute or unstable condition. Oxygen is covered if you have significant hypoxemia in a chronic stable state when: You have a severe lung disease or hypoxemia that might be expected to improve with oxygen therapy, and Your blood gas levels or oxygen saturation levels indicate the need for oxygen therapy, and Your oxygen study was performed by a physician, qualified lab, other qualified provider and Alternative treatments have been tried or deemed clinically ineffective.

There are two types of tests that can be used for this purpose. An Arterial Blood Gas ABG test is an invasive procedure which provides detailed information and a direct measurement of oxygen in arterial blood from an artery.

ABG test results are reported in millimeters of mercury mmHg. A saturation test SAT is a non-invasive procedure that indirectly measures oxygen saturation using a sensor typically placed on the ear or finger. Typically, you will not have to be retested when you return to your physician or healthcare provider for the follow-up visit. Note on nocturnal oxygen therapy: If you only require the use of oxygen during the nighttime, your doctor should rule out obstructive sleep apnea as a cause for the hypoxemia symptoms you may be experiencing.

If obstructive sleep apnea is a potential factor, Medicare will not cover oxygen therapy until you have officially had the sleep apnea diagnosed and treated. When obstructive sleep apnea is a factor, testing for oxygen can only begin after the apneas are controlled with appropriate positive airway therapy using a CPAP or Bi-PAP.

When obstructive sleep apnea is a factor, you can only be tested in a facility not in your home. Oxygen will be paid as a rental for the first 36 months. After that time, if you still need the equipment, Medicare will no longer make rental payments on the equipment. However, if equipment is still necessary, your supplier will continue to provide the equipment to you for an additional 24 months.

During this two year service period, Medicare will pay your supplier for refilling your oxygen cylinders if you have gas or liquid systems and for a semi-annual maintenance fee. After 60 months of service through Medicare your supplier is not obligated to continue service, but you may choose to receive new equipment and Medicare will begin paying for your equipment rental again.

Depending on which product is ordered, your supplier may not be able deliver this equipment to you without a written order or certificate of medical necessity from your doctor or healthcare provider. Nutritional formulas are delivered through a vein. Enteral therapy is covered if you cannot swallow or take food orally. Nutrition must be delivered through a tube directly into the gastrointestinal tract. Medicare will not pay for nutritional formulas that are taken orally.

In most cases you may have to try standard formulas and document that they are unsuccessful before Medicare will consider the specialty nutrition. You must have nearly depleted the supplies on hand to be eligible for additional product.

An electric lift mechanism is not covered; because it is considered a convenience feature. If you prefer to have the electric mechanism, your supplier can usually apply the cost of the manual lift toward the purchase price of the electric model.

You will need to sign an Advance Beneficiary Notice ABN and would be responsible to pay the difference in the retail charges between the two items on a monthly basis. Patient lifts are considered to be capped rental items, and that means they cannot be purchased outright. Your supplier cannot deliver this product to you without a written order from your doctor or healthcare provider.

In addition you must be completely incapable of standing up from any chair, but once standing can walk either independently or with the aid of a walker or cane. The physician or healthcare provider must believe that the mechanism will improve, slow down or stop the deterioration of your condition. Transferring directly into a wheelchair will prevent Medicare from paying for the device. Medicare will only pay for the lift mechanism portion. The chair portion of the package is not covered, and you will be responsible for paying the full amount for the furniture component of the chair.

Your supplier cannot deliver this equipment to you without a written order or certificate of medical necessity from your doctor or healthcare provider. Your supplier cannot get the documentation at a later date because if they do, Medicare can never make payment for those products to you or your supplier when a compliant order is not secured before delivery. They can utilize gel, foam, water or air, and are covered if you are: Completely immobile OR Have limited mobility or any stage ulcer on the trunk or pelvis and one of the following: They are covered if you have one of three conditions: Multiple stage II ulcers on the pelvis or trunk while on a comprehensive treatment program for at least a month using a Group 1 product, and at the close of that month, the ulcers worsened or remained the same.

Monthly follow-up is required by a clinician to ensure that the treatment program is modified and followed. This product is only covered while ulcers are still present. OR Large or multiple Stage III or IV ulcers on the trunk or pelvis Monthly follow-up is required by a clinician to ensure that the treatment program is modified and followed. OR A recent myocutaneous flap or skin graft surgery for an ulcer on the trunk or pelvis within the last 60 days where you were immediately placed on Group 2 or 3 support surface prior to discharge from the hospital and you have been discharged within the last 30 days.

A physician or healthcare provider must make monthly assessments as to whether continued use of the equipment is required. Sometimes your physician or healthcare provider may order a home healthcare nurse to come visit you to make these assessments. Medicare will only pay for the rental of a Group 2 product until your ulcers completely heal.

If your ulcers have healed you must return the equipment to your supplier or make arrangements to pay for future monthly rentals privately using an Advance Beneficiary Notice ABN document. Group 3 products are air-fluidized beds and are only covered if you meet ALL of the following conditions: A stage III or stage IV pressure ulcer, and Are bedridden or chair bound as the result of limited mobility, and In the absence of an air-fluidized bed would require institutionalization, and An alternate course of conservative treatment has been tried for at least one month without improvement of the wound, and All other alternative equipment has been considered and ruled out.

A physician or healthcare provider must assess and evaluate you after completion of a course of conservative therapy within one month prior to ordering the Group 3 support surface. A trained adult caregiver must be available to assist you. Medicare does not cover the cost of hiring a caregiver, or for structural modifications to your home to accommodate this equipment. Your supplier cannot deliver these products to you without a written order from your doctor or healthcare provider.

Not all types of pain can be treated with a TENS unit. Medicare will not pay for the device or supplies when used to treat conditions where the units have been proven ineffective. You must return to your physician or healthcare provider days after your initial evaluation to discuss how the therapy is working and to authorize the purchase of this equipment. For acute, post-operative pain sufferers, Medicare will consider rental payment for a maximum of 30 days.

Any duration longer than that Medicare will deny as not medically necessary. Your supplier cannot deliver this product to you without a written order or certificate of medical necessity from your doctor or healthcare provider. Therapeutic Shoes Special therapeutic shoes, inserts and modifications can be covered for diabetic patients with the following foot conditions: This office visit must be repeated each time you wish to obtain replacement shoes. Only a physician treating your diabetes can certify your diabetic condition and complications that require specialty shoes.

Your healthcare practitioner or a podiatrist may further evaluate your feet and order the shoes. Urological Supplies Urinary catheters and external urinary collection devices are covered to drain or collect urine if you have permanent urinary incontinence or permanent urinary retention. Permanent incontinence and retention are defined as a condition that is not expected to be medically or surgically corrected within 3 months.

A maximum of six catheters may be used per day up to per month , unless it is determined that a higher number is medically necessary by your physician or healthcare provider, and these unique circumstances are specifically documented in your medical records. Guide to Medicare Coverage. What Can You Expect to Pay? The ABN form that your supplier completes for you must detail how the products differ and require a signature to indicate that you agree to pay the difference in the retail costs between two similar items.

Withstands repeated use which excludes many disposable items such as underpads Is used for a medical purpose meaning there is an underlying condition which the item should improve Is useless in the absence of illness or injury which excludes any item that is preventive in nature such as bathroom safety items used to prevent injuries Used in the home which excludes all items that are needed only when leaving the confines of the home setting An orthotic simply put is a brace.

Covered Braces are defined as rigid or semi-rigid devices that are used to support a weak or deformed body member or to restrict or eliminate motion in a diseased or injured part of the body. There are many products that fall into this category including knee braces, ankle and foot braces such as walking boots and back braces just to name a few.

A prosthesis is a device that is intended to replace all or part of an internal body organ or to replace all or part of the function of a permanently immobile or malfunctioning internal body part. There are a number of items that fall within the prosthetic category including artificial arms and legs, breast prostheses, eye prostheses, parenteral and enteral nutrition, and ostomy supplies.

Glasses and contacts for patients with aphakia or pseudophakia are also covered under this category. At this time Prosthetic and Orthotic items are not subject to the Face-to-Face rule that mandates a detailed written order prior to delivery, however, every item does require a detailed written order from your doctor or healthcare provider prior to billing.

Medicare Coverage for Prosthetics and Orthotics.

QUESTIONS ABOUT ENROLLING IN BENEFITS