Best Portable Oxygen Options

Just like any other living thing, it’s common knowledge that proper breathing is vital for our survival and continued existence. But there are various types of lung and respiratory conditions that make it difficult to get enough oxygen intake. This is where a portable oxygen system can be very helpful.

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If you own your own equipment, Medicare will help pay for oxygen, contents and supplies for the delivery of oxygen when all of these conditions are met:

Your doctor says you aren’t getting enough oxygen, your health might improve with oxygen therapy, your arterial blood gas level falls within a certain range.

If you meet the conditions above, Medicare helps pay for:

Systems that provide oxygen, containers that store oxygen, tubing and related supplies for the delivery of oxygen and oxygen contents

Portable oxygen systems are lightweight devices that provide supplemental oxygen on a daily basis to individuals with certain debilitating respiratory conditions, such as asthma or COPD. This allows them to breathe better and keep an active lifestyle while maintaining good oxygen levels. Additionally, these systems also offer increased mobility and freedom compared to traditional oxygen tanks, which are larger, heavier and harder to lug around. These systems are also a good choice for those who experience negative side effects to powder or gas inhalers.

In this article, we will explore the best portable oxygen systems, and delve into available Medicare coverage for these devices.


Types of Portable Oxygen Systems

There are several types of portable oxygen systems to meet different needs. Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs) are the most common type of portable oxygen system. These systems extract oxygen from the surrounding air, concentrate it, and deliver it to the user through a nasal cannula or mask. POCs are powered by either rechargeable batteries, AC power, or DC power (e.g., car charger).

Compressed Gas Systems use small, lightweight oxygen cylinders or tanks filled with compressed oxygen. They are convenient for short periods away from a power source, but may be less suitable for long-term use due to limited oxygen capacity.

Lastly, there are also Liquid Oxygen Systems, which use portable containers filled with liquid oxygen. This liquid is then converted to a gaseous form for inhalation. They offer a higher oxygen capacity than compressed gas systems, but require regular refills.

Top Portable Oxygen Systems

The following PO systems have received the highest customer ratings and positive feedback:

1. Inogen One G5: The Inogen One G5 is a popular POC that offers high oxygen output, extended battery life, and a user-friendly interface. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and provides pulse dose oxygen delivery.

2. Philips Respironics SimplyGo Mini: This POC is lightweight, compact, and features an intuitive control panel. It offers multiple oxygen delivery modes, including pulse dose and continuous flow, and has an extended battery life.

3. AirSep FreeStyle Comfort: The AirSep FreeStyle Comfort is known for its quiet operation and enhanced comfort features. It provides pulse dose oxygen and is suitable for active individuals.

4. Invacare Platinum Mobile Oxygen Concentrator: With its ergonomic design and user-friendly interface, the Invacare Platinum Mobile offers pulse dose and continuous flow options. It is durable, reliable, and suitable for active lifestyles.

Medicare Coverage

Good news! Medicare Part B covers a significant percentage of costs associated with the rental of oxygen equipment, including portable systems. This coverage is available for eligible beneficiaries who have a qualifying medical condition. To qualify for Medicare coverage, the following criteria must be met:

~ A doctor’s prescription stating the need for oxygen therapy.
~ A documented blood gas study or qualifying oxygen saturation test.
~ A long-term need for oxygen therapy (at least 3 months).

Please note that Medicare typically covers 80% of the approved amount for rental of oxygen equipment, and the beneficiary is responsible for the remaining 20%. However, deductibles and co-pays may apply. It’s essential to check with Medicare and the specific supplier for coverage details and out-of-pocket costs.

Alternatively, you can also look into Supplemental insurance policies, such as Medigap or Advantage plans, which may help reduce your out of pocket costs. For more information, you’ll need to contact individual insurance providers to understand coverage options fully. Also, some manufacturers and suppliers offer financial assistance programs and payment plans to help ease the financial burden even further.

Coverage for Maintenance and Accessories

Many people are unaware of this, but Medicare can also provide varying coverage for necessary maintenance and accessories related to portable oxygen systems. This may include:

~ Oxygen tubing and connectors
~ Nasal cannulas or masks
~ Oxygen regulators
~ Oxygen concentrator filters and batteries
~ Oxygen system carrying cases or carts

Again, coverage may vary in this area as well, so it’s essential to consult Medicare and the supplier for specific coverage details.

Documentation and Claims Process

To ensure that you receive Medicare coverage for portable oxygen systems, it is important to properly follow the required documentation and claims process:

First, you’ll need to obtain a written prescription from your doctor specifying the need for oxygen therapy. Then, choose a Medicare-approved supplier and provide them with the necessary documentation. The supplier will work with Medicare to verify eligibility and obtain the required authorizations.

Once approved, the supplier will deliver the portable oxygen system and provide instructions on its use. The supplier will bill Medicare directly, and the beneficiary will be responsible for any deductibles, co-pays, or non-covered items.

Final Thoughts

In order to receive Medicare coverage for portable oxygen systems, it is crucial to use suppliers approved by Medicare. These suppliers must meet certain quality standards and follow Medicare’s guidelines for equipment and services. If you need some guidance, Medicare’s Supplier Directory can help identify approved suppliers in your area.

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