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Getting oxygen equipment & supplies in certain situations

What happens if the equipment I have is no longer effective for me?

Your doctor may decide that your oxygen equipment is no longer effective for you. If so, he or she may notify the oxygen supplier with a new letter of medical necessity for different equipment. The oxygen supplier must provide you with equipment that fits your needs. It should address your mobility needs both inside and outside your home.

Can my oxygen supplier change my equipment or the number of tank refills I get each month?

Your supplier can’t change the type of equipment or number of tank refills you get unless your doctor orders a change. If you find you need more tank refills, ask your doctor to submit an updated letter of medical necessity to your supplier.

What happens if my oxygen supplier goes out of business or leaves the program during my rental period?

Suppliers leaving the program must give you a 90-day notice in writing, telling you that they can no longer provide oxygen therapy services. This notice must be one of these:

  • A letter notifying you of their intent to stop oxygen therapy services, including the date when they’ll stop services.
  • A letter to a new supplier you’ve chosen, transferring responsibility for oxygen therapy services to the new supplier on a specific date.

Work with your supplier to find a new oxygen supplier in your area, and request that they send a letter to the new supplier on your behalf. This will ensure you’ll have continuous service and your medical records will be transferred to the new supplier within 90 days.

What if my supplier tells me they’ll no longer provide liquid oxygen?

If your supplier tells you they’ll no longer provide your prescribed therapy, and you haven’t completed your 5-year contract, you can:

What happens if I travel by plane?

If you travel by plane, your oxygen supplier isn’t required to give you an airline-approved portable oxygen concentrator, and Medicare won’t pay for any oxygen related to air travel. You may be able to rent a portable oxygen concentrator from your supplier. Also, rentals are available through online companies that work with most airlines. These companies can give you the documentation needed for your travel.

What if I’m away from home for an extended period of time or I move to another area?

During the 36-month period

If you travel away from home for an extended period of time (several weeks or months) or permanently move to another area during the 36-month rental period, you can:

  • Ask your current supplier if they can help you find a supplier in the new area.
  • Use the Supplier Directory to find Medicare-contract suppliers in the new area.

After the 36-month period

Your supplier is generally responsible for ensuring that you have oxygen and oxygen equipment in the new area if:

  • You travel away from home for an extended period of time (several weeks or months)
  • You permanently move to another area after the 36-month rental period ends

Learn more about getting items & supplies included in the DME Competitive Bidding Program when you travel.

What if my supplier refuses to continue providing my oxygen equipment and related services as required by law?

If your supplier tells you they’ll no longer provide your prescribed therapy, and you haven’t completed your 5-year contract, take these actions: