Unexpected health issues can severely impact your lifestyle. When you or a loved one need to use medical equipment at home, there is a period of transition. You must learn how to operate the new equipment and often adjust to the expensive financial burdens that come with it as well.
We know how difficult financing medical equipment can be. Many people feel overwhelmed as more items are needed and expenses steadily increase, but in this article, we walk you through what qualifies as durable medical equipment and what resources are available to help you.
If you are new to the needs of those dealing with medical issues, you have probably heard “DME” or “HME” and have wondered what these mean.
The two terms are often used interchangeably. DME stands for “durable medical equipment” and HME stands for “home medical equipment”. Any reusable, non-disposable equipment you use in the home for medical purposes is considered DME. Most items that qualify as DME are used for at least three years.
An easy way to identify whether or not something is considered DME is if your doctor prescribed or recommended it. When a doctor recommends a piece of equipment, it is almost always DME.
Some examples of durable medical equipment include:
There are some pieces of at-home care equipment that are often confused with DME. Any disposable items or devices not intended for use specifically inside the home are not considered DME.
Examples of items not considered DME:
Stocking your home with medical equipment can quickly add up. Purchasing DMEs on your own without any external financial support is expensive. For example, a hospital bed costs anywhere from under $1000 to $40,000.
However, you aren’t completely on your own. There are resources to help cover some of the costs.
For insurance to cover DME, a doctor or primary care physician will need to prescribe it. Health insurance companies are not required to cover DME, but many do anyways as part of their policies. Reach out to your insurance provider or the insurance provider of your loved one to find out exactly what they cover.
If you or your loved one have Medicaid, it will often cover all of the DME costs. However, only those with very limited resources and income qualify for Medicaid.
Medicare is broken up into two programs. Medicare A covers hospital expenses and Medicare B covers medical expenses. Medicare B will often cover up to 80% of the cost of DME but it will leave you to cover the remaining 20%.
The United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) provides coverage for eligible veterans or their dependents. They will cover a portion of the costs of DME when it is prescribed by a doctor. If you or your loved one served in the military, explore the DME benefits and contact a VA representative for help.
In many cities, there are often charities and other non-profit groups set up to help those in need. Some will specialize in helping with medical costs or supplies. Research your area and find out what programs are available for you.
If brand-new equipment holds a heavy price tag, consider leasing the equipment instead. You will only need to provide smaller monthly payments, which is far more affordable than buying all the equipment at once.
With oral appliance therapy, patients use an oral device that keeps their airways open and helps to minimize breathing complications.
Dentists then continue to monitor for changes or developments in the patient’s sleeping habits through follow-up visits.
The final option available to you is to apply for medical equipment loans through United Credit’s lending partners.
United Credit can help qualified applicants find the best durable medical equipment financing. We connect you with reputable lenders, so you can secure the loan you need to take care of yourself and those who depend on you.
United Credit strives to keep the content shared on this blog accurate and up to date. You are urged to consult with business, financial, legal, tax and/or other advisors and/or medical providers with respect to any information presented. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by any financial or medical institution. This content is intended for informational purposes only.
As Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Nate expertly drives revenue growth for United Credit by leading sales and marketing strategies across all channels. With over 20 years of experience working with global brands in various industries, Nate has a proven track record of boosting sales, expanding market share, and building strong relationships. His unique ‘right-brain + left-brain’ approach combines business acumen and strategic thinking with striking creative execution, ensuring United Credit’s sales and marketing efforts consistently deliver results for continued success.
Matthew is the President and Founder of United Credit. Matt founded fintech company United Medical Credit in 2011 to connect consumers and businesses with an array of experienced, innovative financing solutions. In 2022, the company grew and became United Credit, fueling an expansion into retail markets while retaining its expertise in specialty healthcare.
Since its founding, Matt has provided leadership for all aspects of the Company, emphasizing long-term growth while ensuring United Credit delivers value to its consumers, merchants, and business partners. The Company has risen in the fintech space as a preferred consumer financing partner under his tenure.
Matt is also an active member of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization), the world’s largest leadership community of company chief executives.