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Everything you need to know about durable medical equipment (DME)

From crutches to canes, learn more about what Durable Medical Equipment (DME) is and how it can improve your quality of life.

Illustration of a man walking with a cane.

Whether it's moving freely, managing chronic conditions, or simply recovering from injuries, durable medical equipment (DME) can play a vital role in improving how easily you move through daily activities and helping you live a happier, healthier life.

By addressing your specific health needs, DME can help improve not only physical well-being but mental and emotional health, too. Let’s dive into the most frequently asked questions and how Medicare DME coverage works.

What is Durable Medical Equipment (DME)?

DME is defined as durable equipment used in the home for a medical reason to last at least 3 years. That could include wheelchairs, crutches, canes, walkers, oxygen tanks, hospital beds, and even Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs).

Does Medicare cover DME?

Yes, you’re covered if you have Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). But you’ll need your Medicare-enrolled doctor or healthcare provider to prescribe it for use in your home. 

What DME is covered by Medicare?

Medicare covers certain DME including, but not limited to:

  • Walkers
  • Wheelchairs
  • Canes
  • Crutches
  • Oxygen tanks
  • Hospital beds

Typically, Medicare Advantage plans like Devoted Health must cover the same medically necessary categories of DME items as Original Medicare.

If you’re interested in learning more about equipment that is considered DME, visit for a full list.

What is not covered by Medicare?

While Medicare covers a lot, there are some types of equipment that aren’t covered by Medicare. This includes equipment intended to help you outside the home, certain disposable items, and home modifications.

Medicare does not cover equipment including, but not limited to:

  • Air conditioners
  • Incontinence pads, surgical masks, and most single-use items
  • Wheelchair ramps 
  • Toilet seats
  • Grab bars
  • Motorized scooters

What is the difference between durable medical equipment and medical supplies?

Equipment includes built-to-last products like wheelchairs, hospital beds, and much more, while medical supplies are often used for short-term use. Healthcare workers will use medical supplies like protective gloves and masks and throw them away after each use.

How Devoted can help

We have licensed representatives available to help you with your questions or answer more questions about Devoted Health Medicare Advantage plans. Call us at 1-800-483-8066 (TTY 711) for personalized assistance.

You can also learn more about your Medicare options in this free Medicare Comparison Guide.

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