You don’t want to be tethered to a machine at home if you require supplemental oxygen. Instead, you want to socialize outside your house and maybe even travel. Thus, you’re considering getting a portable concentrator to take with you.
However, you might be put off by the price when shopping for a portable oxygen concentrator (POC). You know you need it, but it’s a big investment, and you might not have the funds. Fortunately, you can save money with these three strategies.
Rent a Portable Oxygen Concentrator Through Medicare Part B
If you have Medicare Part B, you might be able to use it to rent a portable oxygen concentrator. This falls under “durable medical equipment,” meaning Medicare might pay 80% of the costs after you meet the deductible. Then, you’ll only be responsible for the remaining 20%. However, you’ll only rent it instead of buying it under this program.
You need to make sure you meet Medicare’s criteria for renting a portable oxygen concentrator. First, your doctor must determine that you aren’t taking in enough oxygen due to severe lung disease, and oxygen therapy might help. Next, your arterial blood gas levels must be within the right range, and you have to demonstrate that other methods have failed to improve your health. Additionally, your doctor must state that a stationary oxygen concentrator does not meet your needs.
If you meet the criteria, Medicare will cover a rental period of 36 months. Then, the POC provider must continue to cover your supplies for another 24 months, meaning the coverage lasts for five years. If you still need portable oxygen after five years, you can enter into another rental agreement.
It’s important to note that you might not receive an FFA-approved portable oxygen concentrator to use on flights if you go this route. Medicare does not require providers to issue such devices, so while you might get one, it’s not guaranteed. Thus, if you want to fly, you might need to use another method to save money, or you can rent an FAA-approved POC when you need to fly.
Save with a Package Deal
You can also save money by purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator that’s part of a package deal. Manufacturers and retailers often package POCs with accessories such as batteries, charging cables, and carrying cases. If you buy everything separately, you’ll end up spending much more money in the long run. Thus, this is a fantastic way to save while getting everything you need.
Additionally, you can reduce your shipping costs when you use this money-saving strategy. This might not sound like a big deal, but you can actually save a bundle of money by only paying for shipping once.
Buy a Used Refurbished Portable Oxygen Concentrator
New portable oxygen concentrators are much more expensive than used or refurbished units. If you want to receive the steepest discount, consider a used POC. Make sure you choose a reputable retailer that tests all used units before shipping them, though. If you buy a used POC from another person, it might not work as it should, meaning you’ll waste your money. However, reputable retailers test and clean all units before making them available for sale. Thus, you won’t have to worry about the POC malfunctioning as soon as you set it up. Plus, it won’t be full of germs and bacteria from the previous user.
If you get a refurbished POC, you’ll spend a little more money, but it will still cost significantly less than a new unit. These units are also used, but the retailer or manufacturer makes repairs and replaces parts before selling them. Thus, the POC will be like-new, even though another patient used it at some point. Because these POCs have new parts, you can expect them to last for a long time, making them a wise investment.
Other Ways to Save Money
These are the three most common ways to save money when shopping for a portable oxygen concentrator. However, you have other options as well. For instance, you can rent a POC instead of buying it, reducing your out-of-pocket costs. You can also consider financing the unit instead of paying it at once. This will lower the amount of money you pay upfront, but you will end up paying more in the long run due to financing charges. Still, it makes it much easier to fit it into your budget.
Consider all of our options before you start shopping. Then, you can use these strategies to reduce your costs so you can get the medical equipment you need. Once you receive your POC, you’ll be free to walk around your home, go to events, and so much more without struggling to breathe. Then you’ll realize the cost was well worth it, even if you end up spending a bit more than you planned. After all, it’s hard to put a price on improving your quality of life.