Finally, Some Good News for Medicare Recipients

Durable equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds and other medical equipment has long been the subject of frustration because of their costs.  If an individual has Medicare, often Medicare pays for some or all of these items, with little cost to the recipient.


However, the costs of much of this equipment are extremely high, and not affordable to most Medicare recipients.  Even though Medicare helps with the expenses, there are still issues that are being addressed. 


Medicare has determined that the costs are too high for them, as well.  They have proposed a solution that would help consumers and help the Medicare program itself.  To save money for recipients and the Medicare system, Medicare wants to institute a competitive bidding process for some durable medical equipment.  This would mean that companies that supply these items would have to bid toward the lowest price in order to be given contracts through Medicare.  In addition, these lower price savings would be passed on to Medicare Beneficiaries. 


On the surface this seems like a good idea, and in many cases, it would work.  The problem is that many of the companies that provide this equipment are small businesses that have a small profit margin.  Some of these businesses have no room to decrease their prices and as a result, might be shut out of the process of providing durable equipment through Medicare.  This could severely cripple the businesses or even put them out of business.


Another drawback is that there would probably be fewer choices for Medicare recipients along with fewer knowledgeable providers.  Patients might have to switch from their current providers to a new one that they don’t know.  Some beneficiaries have been affected already, as the bidding process has started. It is taking longer to get their equipment.  A high percentage of providers have already had to cut back or go out of business.


In the long run, things will even out.  In the short term, however, if you are a Medicare recipient, try to deal with durable equipment in advance.  Put your order in early, and try to be patient as everything is sorted out.  We can all be hopeful that the discounts will truly be passed on, saving beneficiaries money on essential equipment they need.


3 Responses to Finally, Some Good News for Medicare Recipients

  • Keith says:

    Please email me. Need some specific info on durable medical supply companies. thanks

  • Maritza Horton says:

    My grandmother, is 81yrs old,she has severe Rheumatory Arthritis, Can not bend her knees, Edema,type 1 Diabetes,High blood presure,etc…..She lives in a nursing home.She needs a hospital bed,an a new wheelchair,she has been sleeping in a recliner for yrs now.she’s in a lot of pain.please help get info. on these medical equipment. thank you.

  • Skeptical Tom says:

    We have all been swamped with commercials for the Scooter Store and other mobility chair companies. I have often wondered if these companies are ripping off Medicare, particulariy when they promise that the chair didn’t cost the consumer “one red cent.” I’ve seen classified ads for used chairs, listing an original price of $7000! Given the state of the economy, it is time to investigate.

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