For many patients, living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or a similar condition, oxygen therapy can be essential. Portable oxygen concentrators are becoming more commonplace these days, and favored for their ease of use. Unlike traditional oxygen tanks, portable concentrators are small, lightweight, and don’t require continual changing out. While these units offer superior convenience, they are still not considered to be the standard of care in oxygen therapy for COPD patients, and therefore may not be covered by health insurance.
But that doesn't mean you should give up, and continue using those bulky, clumsy oxygen tanks! It never hurts to attempt to get your insurance company to cover a portable oxygen concentrator instead. It could be the best decision you ever make. These lightweight units can provide a level of freedom and independence that could dramatically improve your quality of life, even with COPD.
To increase your chances of being approved for a portable oxygen concentrator (POC), it’s important to make sure you have all your paperwork in order. Work with your doctor to compile their prescription for a POC, along with your relevant medical information such as your disease severity, pulmonary test results, and details around your oxygen therapy requirements. If initially your claim is denied, make sure you keep that paperwork as well, in order to file an appeal. If you can, make your case by describing all the ways that a portable oxygen concentrator would be necessary to maintain your quality of life, including your work obligations, if applicable. The more detail you can give, the better.
If you are unsuccessful at getting your primary insurance provider to cover your POC, there may be other options for you:
- Payment plans: Some online oxygen therapy stores accept payment plans, or you can apply for things like CareCredit, to cover the cost.
- Rentals: For short-term needs such as vacations or work events, consider renting a POC instead of lugging around your oxygen tanks.
- Medicare or Medicaid: If you are eligible for these types of secondary insurance, you may be able to get your POC covered as “durable medical equipment.”
- Special discounts: Some POC distributors may offer special discounts or options for financial hardship, so don’t be afraid to ask!
Oxygen therapy allows you to stay active and engaged with your life, even with COPD. So, if you’ve been wondering if portable oxygen concentrators are covered by insurance, consider the tips presented in this post. And if you have questions, please reach out to us at Portable Oxygen Solutions and let us assist you!
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