Does Medicare Cover Ostomy Supplies?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Ostomy supplies are medically necessary for people living with an ostomy. Find out whether Medicare covers ostomy supplies and how much it might pay for those items.

Medicare does cover ostomy supplies that are considered medically necessary. The benefit is paid out under Medicare Part B or, for those with a Medicare Advantage plan, covered by Part C.

Find out more about whether Medicare covers ostomy supplies to help you understand your out-of-pocket expenses and plan ahead for these needed items.

Have Medicare questions?

Talk to a licensed agent today to find a plan that fits your needs.

When Does Medicare Pay for Ostomy Supplies?

The designation of ostomy supplies as durable medical equipment is important because that means they're paid for under Medicare Part B.

Medicare Part B is the part of Original Medicare that covers outpatient treatment and supplies, including visits to your doctor or specialist and necessary medical equipment. For ostomy supplies to be considered medically necessary, you must have had an ileostomy, urinary or colostomy and have an ostomy as a result.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you have Medicare Part C. It replaces both Medicare Parts A and B and must provide at least the same coverage. That means ostomy supplies would also be covered in the above cases under your Medicare Advantage Plan.

How Much Does Medicare Pay for Ostomy Supplies?

Medicare Part B comes with a 20% copay. That means you will be responsible for covering 20% of the cost of your ostomy supplies after meeting a small annual deductible.

Millions of Original Medicare beneficiaries are also enrolled in a Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap) plan that can help pay for ostomy supply costs that Medicare doesn't, such as coinsurance, copays and deductibles.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your deductible and copay costs may be different. It's important to look into how much your plan will pay and how much you may be held responsible for, especially when you know you'll have long-term, recurring expenses such as ostomy supplies.

What Supplies Are Needed for Ostomy Care?

An ostomy must be cared for in a specific fashion to maintain functionality and help reduce any chances of infection. Common ostomy supplies include:

  • Pouches (you will need to replace them every few days or as directed by your medical provider)
  • Pouch clips
  • Stoma/skin barrier powder, paste or liquids
  • Wipes to clean the skin around the ostomy
  • Support or ostomy belt
  • Stoma cap

Are Ostomy Supplies Considered Durable Medical Equipment?

Yes, ostomy supplies are considered durable medical equipment, or DME.

Many people think of things such as walkers, wheelchairs and hospital beds as DME, and that's all correct. But DME is a designation that also covers some types of supplies necessary for treating chronic conditions or illnesses. That includes ostomy supplies, diabetic testing supplies and wound care supplies.

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

Read More
Man buying produce at grocery store
Does Medicare cover incontinence supplies? Find the answer to this question and some options for how ...
Pharmacist gives flu shot in the pharmacy
Protect yourself with a vaccine during the flu season. Find out whether your Medicare plan covers ...
Happy smiling woman in dentist's chair
Medicare Parts A and B don’t cover routine dental services, but Medicare Advantage plans may offer ...