How to Find a Medical Supply Company

Art: Robin Mead

Looking to buy a wheelchair or other medical equipment? Here’s some tips for finding a medical supply company that will accept your insurance, and help you avoid unexpected fees:

🍃 Surprisingly, asking your doctor for the name of a medical supply company will sometimes be a dead end. The names your doctor gives you may not take your insurance.

🍃 You may be able to find a medical supply company by contacting your insurance company or looking on their website. Look for a directory for “durable medical equipment” or you can call local medical supply companies in your area and ask if they accept your insurance.

🍃 Warning: Some medical supply companies may overcharge or make false promises. Be careful before signing contracts or paying money. If you are hoping to get reimbursed, you may want to make sure you get written proof that your insurance has approved or pre-authorized the equipment you are requesting.

Medicare Tips

🍃 This is a Directory for MedicareSome stores that accept Medicare don’t appear on this list though, so you can also call elsewhere.

🍃 In some areas, any company can accept Medicare. But only some companies have agreed to stay within the fees Medicare sets and not charge you extra. This is called “accepting Medicare assignment.”

🍃 Accepting Medicare is not the same as accepting Medicare assignment. From the Medicare website: “If suppliers don’t accept assignment, there’s no limit on the amount they can charge you.”

🍃 Other locations have a different system. They don’t use Medicare assignment, instead they use bidding. Companies bid on the right to provide a certain type of equipment in a certain area. Companies either win the bid, or they don’t. If they win the bid, they can provide you the equipment. If they don’t, they can’t.

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

Medicaid Tips

🍃 Check your state medicaid website. They may have a directory of medical suppliers that provide “durable medical equipment” covered by medicaid. You can also call your state Medicaid office.

🍃 Sometimes places that accept Medicaid do not appear in the online directory.

🍃 If you are in a Medicaid Waiver or Home and Community Based Care program ask your caseworker for a list of other benefits. In some states, Medicaid waiver programs will pay for assistive technology or home modifications. These can include things like ipads, communication devices, hearing aids, and other equipment. May also include wheelchair ramps, grab bars, and other home modifications.

🍃 Most Medicaid programs will cover your equipment 100% (if the equipment is approved). You should not be billed or pay out of pocket.

🍃 Medicaid will not reimburse. If someone tells you that you will be reimbursed, this is not accurate.

2 thoughts on “How to Find a Medical Supply Company”

  1. I can understand how a business could really benefit from getting the right equipment to be more effective. Getting their equipment from a professional could allow them to be more productive while working. It was interesting to learn about how they should contact their insurance, and make sure that they approve of the equipment.


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