Many folks in the Midwest live at home with serious health conditions and depend on medical equipment’s continual function.
If you or a family member relies on medical equipment that requires a constant power supply, you may be anxious to prepare for the eventuality of a power outage.
For those with disabilities and critical health problems, having a standby generator on hand is an emergency preparedness essential. However, you may wonder if Medicare covers a generator’s cost or if any financial aid programs cover residential backup generator installation.
Here’s what you and your loved ones need to know about generator financing.
What Medicare Pays For
Medicare is a federal agency that helps cover the cost of various healthcare and medical equipment for qualifying Americans over the age of 65 or under 65 and suffering from a disability.
Certain medical equipment types, such as oxygen machines, can only function when supplied with uninterrupted electricity.
Currently, Medicare helps pay for oxygen equipment, containers, and tubing when prescribed by a doctor. However, Medicare does not provide coverage for the cost of purchasing, installing, or running a residential generator that may power oxygen equipment.
“Although a generator may be used to power DME [durable medical equipment], it is not, nor can it be considered to be, medical equipment. By law, Medicare does not have the authority to
pay for generators,” says the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Emergency-Related Policies and Procedures That May Be Implemented Without § 1135 Waivers.
While Medicare does not pay for generators, there may be other ways of receiving financial aid to buy a backup generator, depending on what programs are available in your state of residence.
Medicaid Waivers for Environmental Modifications
While services vary by state and case, Medicaid waiver programs offer home and community-based services to provide funding to help elderly and disabled patients stay at home, rather than in a medical care facility.
Most homes are not initially built to provide the level of care needed to accommodate advanced health problems. Medicaid Waiver services supplement traditional Medicaid coverage to help finance modifications to the home environment to ensure it is suitable for at-home care. These modifications are known as Environmental Accessibility Adaptations.
For example, in Indiana’s “Aged and Disabled (A&D) Waiver allows individuals who are aged, blind, or disabled to remain in their home as an alternative to nursing facility placement. Home and community-based services (HCBS) are provided through the A&D Waiver to supplement informal supports for people who would require care in a nursing facility if HCBS or other supports were not available,” explains the State of Indiana on Indiana Medicaid.
Under the A&D Waiver, eligible individuals may receive Environmental Modifications to their home, if authorized by the program. A case manager will investigate the patient’s needs, determine which services they may qualify for, and apply for state approval.
Depending on the individual’s circumstances and the state agency’s policy, a waiver may authorize funding for a generator (whether portable or full home) and other home modifications.
In some Midwest states, Medicaid Waivers cover only generators big enough to operate required medical equipment, not full-size backup generators. However, in select cases, coverage for a full-size generator has been provided from a Medicaid Waiver and installed by a contractor authorized to make home modifications.
If you wish to seek financial assistance from a Medicaid Waiver program, it’s important to apply as soon as possible, since many have waiting lists and enrollment limits. Start by researching Medicaid Waiver programs available in your state.
Indiana Emergency Generators
If your family would benefit from installing a backup generator, contact Midwest Generator Solutions. Our professional generator sales and service team operates in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois. We’ll work with you to find the best generator solution for your home, even if you do not qualify for a Medicaid Waiver.