Does Medicare Cover Portable Oxygen Concentrators?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Portable oxygen concentrators can help people with COPD or other issues improve their quality of life. But does Medicare cover portable oxygen concentrators?

A portable oxygen concentrator is a piece of medical equipment that converts the air around you to purer oxygen. These devices are much smaller than oxygen tanks, which can help support mobility and lifestyle choices for those that require oxygen. But does Medicare cover portable oxygen concentrators? 

Have Medicare questions?

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

Does Medicare Cover Portable Oxygen Concentrators?

Portable oxygen concentrators are classified as durable medical equipment (DME), which is covered by Medicare Part B and all Medicare Advantage plans.

Portable oxygen concentrators are only covered by Medicare when certain eligibility requirements are met. These include:

  • Certification from a doctor that you have severe lung disease or are not receiving enough oxygen into your lungs. 
  • A doctor's recommendation that your health would improve with supplemental oxygen.
  • Your arterial blood oxygen saturation is below 88%.
  • Other efforts have not improved your oxygen intake. 

Many Medicare beneficiaries who are approved for coverage of their portable oxygen concentrators are those with COPD, pneumonia and other lung conditions. 

When approved, Medicare's coverage includes the portable oxygen concentrator itself along with the necessary tubing and connectors. 

Why Are Oxygen Concentrators So Expensive?

Portable oxygen concentrators are expensive because they're complex pieces of equipment. They have internal workings to take regular air from wherever you are and convert it into mostly just oxygen. They are also able to rely on battery power, which means they have to be relatively efficient.  

Which Is Better: an Oxygen Tank or Oxygen Concentrator?

Portable oxygen concentrators can cost a few thousand dollars and need to be powered by a battery or a connection to an electrical outlet, so you do have to plan for using one to maximize benefits such as flexibility and mobility.

Oxygen tanks are also covered by Medicare but they're less flexible and can reduce your mobility. 

Ultimately, you'll need to weigh your own needs and budget to decide which option is right for you.

Have Medicare questions?

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

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

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