Where to get items included in the Competitive Bidding Program when you travel

  •  If you travel to a Competitive Bidding Area and you want Medicare to help pay for your off-the-shelf back or knee braces, you must get them from a contract supplier.
  • If you travel to an area that isn't included in the program, you don't have to get the items from a contract supplier.
If you live permanently in… And travel to… You may go to…
An area included in the program An area included in the program A contract supplier in the area you traveled to for off-the-shelf back or knee braces.* Find a contract supplier in the area where you're traveling.
An area included in the program An area not included in the program Any Medicare-approved supplier
An area not included in the program An area included in the program A contract supplier for the area you traveled to for off-the-shelf back or knee braces.* Find a contract supplier in the area where you're traveling.

* If you don't use a contract supplier, the supplier may ask you to sign an Advance Beneficiary Notice. This notice says Medicare probably won't pay for the item or service. The supplier will probably require you to pay for the full cost of the item.

What you pay for competitively bid items when traveling to a participating area

Your out-of-pocket costs will be the same as when you're at your permanent home. You'll still be responsible for paying the 20% 

coinsurance

 after meeting your yearly Part B deductible.

The contract supplier can't charge you more than the 20% coinsurance and any unmet yearly 

deductible [glossary]

 for any equipment or supplies included in the Competitive Bidding Program. If you suspect you’re paying more coinsurance than the Medicare-approved amount, we strongly encourage you to take one of these actions: 

  • Call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY: 1-877-486-2048.
  • Report fraud using the HHS Office of Inspector General's online form.
  • Call the Fraud Hotline of the HHS Office of Inspector General at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477).

More about the Competitive Bidding Program

Find out who to call about Medicare options, claims and more.