Does Insurance Pay for Humidifiers?

In this article...
  • Adding moisture to the air offers health benefits, but does insurance cover humidifiers? Find out about coverage and options for getting a humidifier.

Humidifiers can soothe coughs and help with some ailments. However, most health insurance plans only pay for oxygen humidifiers used with durable medical equipment

Types of Humidifiers

There are three main types of humidifiers used in homes:

  • Portable room humidifiers 
  • Whole-house humidifiers 
  • Oxygen humidifiers 

Portable humidifiers can be purchased at a retailer, such as a drug store, and are typically used for a single room. Whole-house humidifiers are installed as part of an HVAC system to increase humidity throughout a home. Oxygen humidifiers are used with medical equipment to humidify supplemental oxygen.

Insurance May Pay for Humidifiers Under Certain Circumstances 

Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, pay for oxygen humidifiers if needed to supplement other covered medical equipment. The other equipment might be supplemental oxygen or a CPAP machine.

Home humidifiers are rarely covered, but you can check with your insurer. Insurance plans have varying terms, and some private insurers and Medicare Advantage plans may offer coverage if the humidifier is for medical treatment. 

If your insurance doesn't pay for a humidifier, you may be able to pay for a one with an HSA or FSA plan. Additionally, single-room humidifiers are relatively inexpensive, and you can find one for an affordable price, even without coverage. 

Can a Doctor Prescribe a Humidifier?

A doctor can prescribe or give a written recommendation for a humidifier, but that doesn't mean insurance will cover the equipment. Your doctor can write a Letter of Medical Necessity, which you may need for HSA or FSA coverage. 

If you need an oxygen humidifier for use with other medical equipment, your doctor can include that in the prescription or order for the equipment. A health insurer is more likely to cover the cost if the equipment is part of a doctor's recommendation. 

Why Is a Humidifier Beneficial? 

Typical in-home humidifiers can offer many benefits, especially to people living in dry climates. Running a humidifier can:

  • Moisten dry skin and lips 
  • Provide relief for dry and scratchy throats 
  • Reduce asthma symptoms
  • Loosen mucus to relieve sinusitis and congestion 

It's important to clean and care for humidifiers to avoid mold and bacteria growth. 

Oxygen humidifiers are used with other medical equipment to help users avoid dry skin and airway irritation associated with supplemental oxygen.

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