Inogen is a portable oxygen concentrator, which is a device that is used for oxygen therapy. Oxygen therapy involves using a medical device to provide individuals with more oxygen, helping the patient breathe better. Medicare may cover Inogen and other oxygen therapy tools if you meet specific criteria.
How Does Inogen Work?
Inogen provides a much needed boost of oxygen for individuals with a variety of health conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, heart failure, pneumonia, sleep apnea, and much more. These conditions can cause the lungs to absorb oxygen less effectively, making the 21 percent oxygen in the air insufficient. Oxygen therapy provides these patients with additional oxygen that can be used for as many hours each day as needed.
When most people think of oxygen therapy, they picture the giant metal oxygen tank getting pulled around on a small dolly, but, Inogen’s portable oxygen concentrators provide a much more mobile option, allowing you to take your oxygen anywhere with ease.
Inogen’s systems are designed to allow their users to continue to live an active lifestyle. These tanks are lightweight, making them great for traveling or running errands around town. Their small size also allows you to leave the house without having to lug around a giant tank.
One of the biggest benefits of Inogen oxygen concentrators is that they have an endless supply of oxygen. These units work by continuously drawing in air, purifying it, and concentrating the oxygen for instant use. This prevents the need to purchase refills or buy replacement canisters.
Medicare Coverage for Inogen
In order for your Medicare benefits to help pay for the cost of Inogen, your physician will need to document your symptoms, including the extent of your oxygen needs. Some of these symptoms may include changes in your heart rate, coughing or wheezing, changes in behavior or mood, and breathing rate.
The oxygen content in your blood will also be tested. This is often done using a pulse oximetry test. In order to qualify for oxygen therapy like Inogen, your oxygen saturation level must be below 88 percent and the total oxygen level must be below 55 mg Hg. If you fit either of these requirements, you may be a good candidate for oxygen therapy.
If your physician determines that Inogen is medically necessary for maintaining your health, they can write a prescription for it. Medicare may help pay for the device if you have been diagnosed with a lung condition, such as COPD, asthma, pneumonia, or others.
Medicare Part B insurance covers medically necessary services, supplies and durable medical equipment, including oxygen concentrators, tanks, refills, tubing, masks, storage devices, and more. All of these pieces of equipment can be covered as long as they are deemed necessary for use in your home on a daily basis. Devices that are only needed for sleeping are generally not covered.
Out-of-pocket costs can vary significantly based on your doctor’s order for the equipment, and whether you visit a Medicare-approved provider who accepts assignment. You will likely have to rent or purchase the equipment from a supplier that is participating in Medicare. If you have Original Medicare, you may pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will have at least the same benefits as Original Medicare Part A and Part B, but many plans provde additional coverage. Check with your plan directly to find out about your costs for Inogen.