What's the Competitive Bidding Program?
Medicare's Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program changes the amount Medicare pays for certain DMEPOS items. Under this program, suppliers submit bids to provide certain medical equipment and supplies to people with Medicare living in, or visiting, competitive bidding areas. Medicare uses these bids to set the amount it pays for each item. All suppliers are thoroughly screened to make sure they meet Medicare requirements (like eligibility and financial, quality, and accreditation standards) before they're awarded contracts.
If you have Original Medicare, the Competitive Bidding Program requires you to get competitive bidding items in competitive bidding areas from a contract supplier, unless an exception applies.
Medicare also has a National Mail-Order Program for diabetes testing supplies, which applies no matter where you live.
Important: The Competitive Bidding Program doesn't affect which doctors you can use.
The Competitive Bidding Program applies to Original Medicare only. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), your plan will let you know if your supplier is changing. If you’re not sure, contact your plan.