Over time, compression garments have an increasingly popular way to treat symptoms of lymphedema.
Because they are proven helpful against lymphedema, those who have Medicare may wonder, “does Medicare cover compression sleeves?” In this article, we answer this question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of compression sleeves, as well as other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover Compression Sleeves?
The short answer is, no, in most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of compression sleeves or other garments. That said, there may be some situations where you can get these costs covered. Below we’ll take a closer at this to see when you might be able to get Medicare to pay for your compression garments.
Medicare will only pay for a compression garment if a doctor says it’s necessary to treat a venous stasis ulceration. And, even in that case, Medicare will only pay for one compression sleeve. Other than this specific situation, Medicare currently does not pay for compression sleeves.
However, if you have secondary insurance, it doesn’t hurt to check with them to see if your plan may provide some coverage. These plans differ in what they cover so yours may cover the cost (or at least some of the costs) of a compression sleeve.
How Much Does Compression Sleeves Cost?
Compression sleeve or garment costs range from $50 to $300. If you get one that’s custom-made the costs may be even higher. .
Other Options For Financial Assistance For Compression Sleeves
While Medicare does not usually cover compression garments, there still may be a way to get help paying for compression sleeves if you need it. These organization may be able to help:
- CancerCare – (800) 813-HOPE
- Living Beyond Breast Cancer – (610) 645-4567
- The National Lymphedema Network (NLN) – https://lymphnet.org/garment-fund
- The American Cancer Society (ACS) – (800) ACS-2345
Churches and synagogues also often provide funds to members in need.
What Are Compression Sleeves And Garments?
Compression garments are often used in treating mild lymphedema. But they are also worn after complete decongestive therapy (CDT), a treatment for stage 2 and stage 3 lymphedema. In this case, they are helpful in bringing down the swelling.
There are studies that show compression sleeve can not only reduce symptoms but might even prevent lymphedema from developing in the first place.
Compression sleeves and garments apply pressure to keep the lymph moving out of the arm. They do this, in part, because they are tighter at the bottom than at the top. Compression sleeves apply pressure to are the arms, hands, and trunk.
It is crucial to have your compression sleeves adequately fitted to your body. If they are not properly fitted (say there is too much pressure or less pressure than needed), your lymphedema may worsen.
Aside from compression sleeves, there are also other compression garments for different body parts. These include support bras or vests for the trunk area and a fingerless gloves or gauntlets for the hands.
Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.
Additional Info on Medicare Coverage
This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”
Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare cover dry needle therapy?