Does Medicare Cover Inogen?
- Find out when Medicare will cover Inogen oxygen concentrators. Discover how Inogen works, the cost of a unit and how much coverage is offered by Medicare.
Inogen units are lightweight, portable oxygen concentrators. Medicare does cover Inogen units for qualifying beneficiaries.
What Is Inogen?
People who need supplemental oxygen therapy may be interested in portable oxygen concentrators such as Inogen. These units continuously concentrate oxygen from the air. The unit's user breathes in the supplemental oxygen, usually through a nasal cannula attached to the Inogen unit.
Portable oxygen concentrators can be used instead of large oxygen tanks, which can be heavy and difficult to move around. Portable concentrators are small and often use a rechargeable battery for power.
Inogen portable oxygen concentrators are particularly small and lightweight. The newest model weighs only 3.3 pounds and can run for several hours on a single battery charge. Inogen is small enough to be worn over the shoulder in a small carrying case, and some are TSA-approved for use on airplanes. These concentrators give those in need of supplemental oxygen the freedom to shop, drive and travel.
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Does Medicare Cover Inogen?
Medicare may cover Inogen concentrators for enrollees with COPD, pneumonia and other lung conditions. However, Medicare only provides coverage if the following conditions are met:
- A doctor states that the enrollee has severe lung disease or is not getting sufficient oxygen.
- The enrollee's health would improve with supplemental oxygen.
- The enrollee's arterial blood oxygen saturation must be below 88%.
- Other measures have not improved the enrollee's oxygen intake.
Medicare Part B covers the portable oxygen concentrator and necessary equipment such as tubing and connectors.
How Much Does Inogen Cost?
The price of portable Inogen units starts at around $2,295, and the cost for a new model with a lifetime warranty is $3,495, as of 2021. The initial cost is higher than for a less-portable traditional oxygen canister system. However, Inogen doesn't require the user to purchase more oxygen, and Inogen units last for many years.
How Much Does Medicare Pay for Portable Oxygen Concentrators?
Original Medicare does cover Inogen, but the beneficiary is responsible for the Part B deductible and a 20% copay. Medicare Part B generally requires beneficiaries to rent, rather than purchase, an oxygen concentrator. The concentrator and supplies must come from a Medicare-approved supplier. Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional coverage.