Medical equipment rental is a common cost that seniors should budget for, but people of all ages might need access to affordable medical equipment from time to time — maybe a driver was hurt in a car accident or a high schooler wrenched a knee on the basketball court .
For many, renting medical equipment can be more affordable than buying it outright, even in longer-term use cases. But deciding whether to buy or rent medical equipment comes down to more than personal preference. Usually, insurance providers and Medicare specify whether doctor- ordered medical equipment must be rented or purchased.
6 Ways to Save on Medical Rental Equipment
- Go through medicare or insurance
- Ask about long-time rental discounts
- Look for local non-project lending programs
- Borrow from friends and family
- Work with a travel agent
- Consider buying (used) instead
These six tips can help you keep costs low on everything from power wheelchairs to patient lifts to hospital beds.
1. Go Through Medicare or Insurance
If you have Original Medicare and your doctor has deemed certain equipment medically necessary for your health and quality of life, you should absolutely use Medicare for the equipment.
Even if Medicare is requiring that you rent and you’d rather own, don’t skip out on this great coverage. In most cases, Medicare covers 80% of the monthly cost, and after 13 months, you’ll own the equipment outright .
If you aren’t on Medicare but do have health insurance, see if your policy includes coverage on rental equipment. Private insurance companies don’t have to offer DME coverage, but many do.
2. Ask About Long-Term Rental Discounts
Paying month to month might make sense if your medical issue is expected to be short-term, but if your doctor thinks the equipment might be necessary for several months or years, inquire about long-term rental equipment discounts.
3. Look for Local Non-Profit Lending Programs
As long as you don’t mind gently used…