Does Medicaid Cover Blood Pressure Monitors?

In this article...
  • Does Medicaid cover blood pressure monitors? Learn about state coverage for home blood pressure monitors, the costs involved and options for free monitors.

Around 47% of adults in the United States have hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. The condition can put you at risk for heart attack or stroke, yet only 1 in 4 people with hypertension have it under control. Regularly measuring your blood pressure is one of a suite of tools that can help you control high blood pressure, and this can be done with a home blood pressure monitor. If you’re concerned about your own blood pressure and want to track it, you may be wondering if Medicaid covers blood pressure monitors.


Does Medicaid Cover Blood Pressure Monitors?

Medicaid is funded jointly by federal and state governments, but each state has separate regulations regarding what’s covered by their program. This means that whether Medicaid covers blood pressure monitors will depend on where you live — and often the exact Medicaid program you’re enrolled in. 

A blood pressure monitor is classified as durable medical equipment, but states only cover certain medical devices. A 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that there wasn’t a lot of consistency in state policies. In some states blood pressure monitors are explicitly excluded from coverage, but in others, certain types of monitor are included. In the remaining states, there’s no regulation regarding blood pressure monitors. 

As policies change regularly, the best way to find out if you can get a blood pressure through Medicaid is to contact your state’s Medicaid office or talk to your health care provider. 

How Much Are Home BP Monitors?

Costs for home blood pressure monitors depend on the type of monitor you buy and where they're purchased. In 2021, the New York Times wrote about their top three picks for home blood pressure monitors, and prices of these devices ranged from $40 to $100. It’s possible to spend well over $100, but more expensive devices often have extra testing capabilities and aren’t necessarily any better than an affordable $40 model. 

If you’re purchasing a monitor for home use, look for an automatic monitor that doesn’t require a stethoscope as these are easiest to use and give the most accurate reading. It’s also best to purchase a monitor that states it’s “medically validated” or “FDA cleared” as these should be calibrated to give accurate results. 

How Can I Get a Free Blood Pressure Monitor?

Blood pressure monitors aren’t generally available for free. Medicare covers the use of an ambulatory blood pressure monitor once a year when ordered by a doctor, but this isn’t the same as a home blood pressure monitor. An ambulatory monitor is worn for 24-48 hours as you go about your regular routine, and it takes blood pressure measurements and records them for a doctor to go over at a later time. This won’t allow you to take your blood pressure over an extended period of time. Medicare doesn’t cover other home blood pressure monitoring. 

Although not covered by original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans often provide additional services. In some cases, this includes a blood pressure monitor. Likewise, if you have private health insurance, a blood pressure monitor may be included in your benefits. 

The final source for a free blood pressure monitor is through a durable medical equipment loan closet. You can find these programs in many cities and counties. They offer loans of durable medical equipment and may also offer refurbished devices at a low cost. However, these programs often focus on mobility devices such as wheelchairs and walkers and may not have blood pressure monitors available. 

Finding a low-cost device can be easier than finding a free monitor. Blood pressure monitors are found in many stores, both physical and online. Shopping around can help you find the best price, and you may also be able to get discounts through coupons or pharmacy loyalty programs.

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