Affording Home Oxygen Equipment

When you first learn that you will need oxygen therapy, the next thought for many people is, “But how will I afford my home oxygen equipment?” Navigating insurance, Medicare and other programs can be overwhelming at first, but you could be closer to affordable home oxygen equipment than you think. Read on to learn more about how you can get help with paying for your home oxygen equipment. Women Walking with Pink Peach Trees

Will the Price of Your Home Oxygen Equipment Be an Obstacle? 

Let’s be honest: The thought of figuring out how to pay for your home oxygen equipment, after just learning that you require home oxygen therapy, can feel daunting. Suddenly, there is a lot to figure out, and adding the financial aspect to the equation can be overwhelming. Many people automatically assume that they will be using traditional oxygen tanks, because that is what most people think of when they picture supplemental oxygen. However, oxygen tanks are not the only option, and they might not be the cheapest option, either. If the thought of lugging a large, heavy oxygen tank around behind you sounds awkward and exhausting, a portable oxygen concentrator might be your solution, and it could be more affordable than you think. 

Some people get stuck when they start pricing out their home oxygen equipment. When it comes to initial costs, oxygen tanks are less expensive than portable oxygen concentrators. As such, the price might feel like an obstacle that outweighs the excitement over moving about freely with the help of a portable oxygen concentrator. However, it can be helpful to compare the cost of an oxygen concentrator versus an oxygen tank over the long run. Keep in mind that, with an oxygen concentrator, the cost is upfront, but there are virtually no ongoing costs after the initial purchase. Oxygen tanks, on the other hand, require regular refilling or replacement. This means you have continuous ongoing costs for new tanks, as well as the cost of your time as you attempt to manage refills and replacements. 

If the thought of using a portable oxygen concentrator, rather than a traditional oxygen tank, sounds enticing to you, but the upfront cost of the unit is worrisome, you have options. In fact, qualifying for a portable oxygen concentrator through Medicare or another insurance provider is easier than you might expect.

How to Manage the Cost of Your Home Oxygen Equipment

Many people who require oxygen therapy are already trying to balance a variety of medical and health care costs, so another big purchase simply might be problematic. If you are concerned about the cost of an oxygen concentrator, the good news is that, in some cases, Medicare or other insurance will cover at least part of the cost of renting or purchasing a unit if you qualify. As such, it is a good idea to see if any of the cost of purchasing or renting an oxygen concentrator is covered for you, particularly if the purchase would be difficult for you on your own. Once you know whether any costs are covered for you, and whether you would be able to purchase or must rent your oxygen concentrator, you can make a more informed decision about what you can and cannot afford. 

Also, keep in mind that if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) with your health insurance plan, you can use it to pay for certain medical expenses for you, your spouse or your dependents, including deductibles and copays.[1] Moreover, because you must use any money in an FSA within the plan year or lose that money, it is a good idea to use it if you have it.[1] The Internal Revenue Service allows that using your FSA to cover oxygen and oxygen equipment that helps treat breathing problems due to a medical condition is generally permitted.[2] This means that, as long as you have documentation that oxygen therapy is medically necessary, you can most likely use any money in your FSA for an oxygen concentrator.

Finally, if you are struggling with covering the cost of home oxygen equipment up front, consider a financing option. Inogen can help you with a financing option, like CareCredit, if you are approved. This can help you split your costs into affordable monthly payments, making it work for your budget. If you would like more information about financing options and how they might work for you, contact our Oxygen Specialists at 1-800-695-7915. We are happy to help.

Getting Your Home Oxygen Equipment Covered by Medicare, FSA or Other Insurance

First, make sure you qualify for a portable oxygen concentrator by ensuring that your oxygen needs are fulfilled by any oxygen concentrator you are considering. If you are unsure, check with the manufacturer of the oxygen delivery device. Inogen is happy to help you figure out if one of our oxygen concentrators meets your oxygen therapy needs, as well as helping you navigate the process of getting your oxygen concentrator covered by Medicare or other insurance providers. Unsure whether you qualify for Medicare? Give us a call for a free Medicare eligibility check to learn whether you are eligible for benefits and if you qualify to have any of your oxygen concentrator costs covered. 

We also collaborate with your doctor to get your oxygen prescription and paperwork filled out properly. This makes the process easier on you, and ensures that we get everything we need to get your home oxygen equipment to you as quickly as possible. If you plan to navigate the insurance process on your own instead, you will need to have documentation showing that you require home oxygen therapy equipment and that you fulfill the requirements to have it covered. You will need a recently written prescription that includes your medical diagnosis and reason for requiring home oxygen, along with the oxygen flow rate you require, including liters per minute and frequency and duration of oxygen use required. You will also need a Certificate of Medical Necessity and other forms your insurance provider requires. These forms typically outline your diagnosis, your oxygen levels, oxygen therapy tests and more information about your oxygen prescription. You may also need to provide documentation showing that you tried other therapies to improve your breathing and that they have failed to produce the desired results.[3] It can be overwhelming to gather all of these forms together on your own, and you could miss something important, so we recommend working with Inogen so we can help you complete everything correctly. 

Once you have your documentation together, make sure you have met your insurance company’s requirements for home oxygen equipment coverage. If you will be using Medicare for your oxygen concentrator, they will help pay for oxygen equipment, and necessary accessories, if the following conditions have been met:[4]

  • You are within the arterial blood gas level range
  • Your doctor says you are not getting sufficient oxygen and/or confirms that you have a severe lung disease
  • Your medical documentation shows that your health could improve with home oxygen therapy
  • You have proof that alternative therapies have failed to improve your health

Currently, Medicare covers the rental of an approved Inogen One for 36 months. After that 36 months, your home oxygen equipment supplier must continue to provide oxygen equipment and related supplies for an additional 24 months, for a total of up to 5 years, as long as you demonstrate the medical need for home oxygen therapy.[4] 

If you will be using an FSA, you will submit a claim to your FSA with proof of the medical expense—your home oxygen equipment—and a statement that costs have not been covered by your health insurance plan, including your copays. You will then receive reimbursement for your costs from your Flexible Spending Account.[1]

Inogen Can Help Ensure Purchasing Home Oxygen Equipment is Affordable For You

At Inogen, we want to make sure that getting the home oxygen equipment you need is as affordable and hassle-free as possible. Our customer representatives are ready to help you navigate the process of working with Medicare or insurance to help find the best financial solution for you. Whether that means getting the rental of a portable oxygen concentrator covered by Medicare or getting reimbursed for a direct purchase, we are here to help you. 

While we cannot guarantee that everyone will get full coverage for their home oxygen equipment, we know there is a workable, affordable solution for everyone. Many insurance plans, including Medicare, will cover up to 80% of the cost of your home oxygen equipment, as long as you have the medical records confirming your need for supplemental oxygen therapy.[5] 

Moreover, since Inogen representatives have direct access to Medicare, we can easily check your coverage for you and verify any costs you would need to cover. This way, you will know precisely how affordable any of Inogen’s home oxygen equipment will be for you. Working with private insurance companies to check your coverage, we can discover what one of our oxygen concentrators will cost you with your plan. 

Get the Affordable Home Oxygen Equipment You Need With Inogen

Inogen was founded on the belief that oxygen therapy and the home oxygen equipment that provides your supplemental oxygen should improve your life, not hinder it. Everyone deserves affordable home oxygen equipment, and we can help ensure that you get the oxygen delivery device you need at a cost that works for you. Inogen developed our products to improve your freedom, mobility and independence, which includes helping you find a financial solution that fits your life. 

Learn more about our products and discover how your insurance plan can help cover the costs of your oxygen concentrator by contacting one of our Oxygen Specialists at 1-800-695-7915. We look forward to helping you breathe better today. 

Oxygen. Anytime. Anywhere.®

Sources

[1] “Health Care Options, Using a Flexible Spending Account FSA.” HealthCare.gov, U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Accessed 29 Jan. 2021, www.healthcare.gov/have-job-based-coverage/flexible-spending-accounts/. 

[2] “Publication 502 (2020), Medical and Dental Expenses: Internal Revenue Service.” Internal Revenue Service, United States Government, 29 Jan. 2021, www.irs.gov/publications/p502#en_US_2020_publink1000179001.

[3] Nelson, Sheri. “5 Steps to Qualifying for Oxygen Therapy.” Inogen, Inogen Inc., 23 Oct. 2020, www.inogen.com/blog/5-steps-to-qualifying-for-home-oxygen-therapy/.  

[4] “Oxygen Equipment & Accessories.” Medicare.gov, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Accessed 29 Jan. 2021, www.medicare.gov/coverage/oxygen-equipment-accessories.

[5] “How to Purchase an Oxygen Concentrator.” Inogen, Inogen Inc., 24 Sept. 2020, www.inogen.com/blog/purchase-oxygen-concentrator/. 

“How to Buy Portable Oxygen Concentrator.” Retirement Living, RetirementLiving.com, LLC, 2 Jan. 2020, www.retirementliving.com/how-to-pay-for-a-portable-oxygen-concentrator. 

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