Went to the Better Breather’s Club at Valley Medical Center yesterday, and it was great to be able to socialize with my COPD buddies, and learn things I didn’t know about Medicare coverage (America’s retiree health coverage).
In particular, I did not realize that any supplemental oxygen equipment and related tools would not be replaceable for a minimum of five (5) years.
For three (3) years, the oxygen provider is reimbursed by Medicare, and for the next two (2) years they are expected to provide services free of charge.
What does this mean to the consumer?
– it will be nearly impossible to get a service provider after 12 months of coverage.
– you cannot buy the items you need outside of your provider’s program (usually)
– you need to have thought about what eqt you may need BEFORE you need it
– if you don’t specify an eqt preference, you’re stuck with their choice for 5 years
I always learn something new from my classes, and yesterday’s involved an app that this particular company is launching to help you track your ox sat rates, medicines, etc., and which they plan to deliver through fitbit and other wellness tracking tools such as your Apple Watch at some point in the next 6-12 months.
So, don’t be affraid to think about your worst-case scenarios and plan ahead so that you have the kind of equiment you prefer should push come to shove for needing it.