Texans Get Big Savings on Medicare Supplies This Summer

The Dallas-Fort Worth area Medicare beneficiaries will see prices slashed on oxygen equipment, power wheelchairs, diabetic supplies, and many other medical devices and supplies starting this summer. 

Most people refer to the new laws in 2003, as creating Medicare’s prescription drug coverage. The new law has also allowed the agency a system of competitive bidding for medical equipment and other supplies. Until now beneficiaries paid for items on a fee schedule that the government sets and periodically updates.

This program will add 70 more cities next year and expand nationally soon after that. Medicare expects to save $1 billion a year once competitive bidding has been rolled out. The Medicare program spent $7.6 billion on equipment and supplies in 2006.

Paul Precht, a spokesman for the Medicare Rights Center, a consumer advocacy group said, “For too long, Medicare paid more than other agencies do for the same equipment. Now, its payments will be more in line with the products’ true costs.” 

The government covers 80 percent of the cost of medical equipment and supplies, while individuals pay for the other 20 percent with supplemental insurance or out of pocket. This program will save taxpayers and beneficiaries a lot of money!

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