How to Get Medical Equipment


Art: Robin Mead


Special new and changes during time of Coronavirus:

Types of Equipment

๐Ÿƒ Common types of medical equipment for for people with conditions that cause weakness or fatigue: Shower chairs, manual wheelchairs, electric wheel chairs, walkers, canes, mobility scooters, hospital beds, toilet rails, bath tub safety frames, bath tub lifts, bed pans, and commode chairs.

๐Ÿƒ For other conditions: crutches, braces, and a wide variety of other items can be appropriate medical equipment.

๐Ÿƒ Some people who have pain-related conditions find it helpful to get TENS machines. Often covered by insurance.

๐Ÿƒ Some people with POTS or dizziness when standing, find compression stockings helpful.

๐Ÿƒ Some people are able to get oxygen machines in their homes to help with breathing and fatigue issues.

๐Ÿƒ The National MS Society has a good booklet on How to Choose the Mobility Device That Is Right for You.


You can share these samples with your doctor, physical therapist or occupational therapist:

๐Ÿƒย Request for an electric wheelchair that reclines or tilts

๐Ÿƒย Request for a manual wheelchair that reclines of tiltsย 

๐Ÿƒย Sample letters for a SmartDrive or Pushtrackerย 

๐Ÿƒย Sample Letter for KD Portable Electric Wheelchairย 

If You Have Insuranceย 

๐Ÿƒย If you would like your equipment to be covered by insurance, you will usually need an assessment from a doctor or physical or occupational therapist. Learn more:ย How to Get an Assessment

๐Ÿƒย For some insurance companies, small pieces of equipment don’t need an assessment and a simple doctor’s prescription will be enough

๐Ÿƒย You will also need a medical supply company that will accept or bill your insurance.ย Be careful. Just because a medical supply company tells you that your insurance will reimburse you, that does not make it true!ย ย How to Find a Medical Supply Company

๐Ÿƒย The whole process will go a LOT better if you learn a little about your insurance companies policies and criteria for the type of equipment you want:ย ย How to Get Medical Equipment Covered Through Insurance

๐Ÿƒ If you are looking for an electric wheelchair or scooter look at this page instead: How to Get an Electric Wheelchair or Scooter Through Insurance

๐Ÿƒ If Medicare is your only insurance, you may be charged a co-pay for medical equipment. Check out: How to Escape Medicare Fees

If You Don’t Have Insurance (or insurance is not working out)

๐Ÿƒย Some areas have nonprofit programs or agencies that offer free medical equipment:ย How to Pay for Medical Equipment Without Insurance

๐Ÿƒย If you are applying for disability or on disability, you should still get the assessment and prescription from your doctor. This can be important for your disability case.

If You Move

Readers report that if you move within the first 13 months, insurance may pay to move your equipment. In fact, they may have to move it or the warranty will be void. This is true for Medicare, please check for other types of insurance.ย 

If You Are Applying for Disability

๐Ÿƒ Please take a look atย How to Document Medical Equipment While Applying for Disability

Home Modifications

๐Ÿƒ Home modifications can include things like widening doorways, building wheelchair ramps, making your home safer, installing grab bars, and other modifications.

๐Ÿƒ Many programs provide free or low cost home modifications. Some home modifications are available to renters.

๐Ÿƒ This is a separate topic that is funded a different way. Take a look here: How to Get Home Modifications

What Do You Think?ย 

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4 thoughts on “How to Get Medical Equipment”

  1. I can’t even focus on entertainment, much less educational stuff…i do seem to be able to read and skim some disability rights/pride stuff, though, which always feels good and empowering.

    i love your website soooo much! i refer people to it every day!


  2. My wife needs a power lift bath chair!!! Medicaid don’t pay for this in ar.wife lives on 750.00 a month rent 500.00 150.00 elec 100
    00 meds@personal. She’s had ankle surgery titanium. 2 back surfers neck fusion@lower back both shoulders and arms and hands are affected can’t lift herself up or down in bath!! Were their help to get this for her?


    1. I’m not sure the answer to this, but you might also look into home modifications (even if you are a renter). I know some people are successful at getting a walk-in bathtub installed through medicaid waiver programs.

      You can also check donation programs for medical equipment on this page:


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