Cold therapy is one of the simplest and possibly most effective treatments against various types of pain. One of the best ways to apply a cold compress is to use an ice machine.

Many people look to ice machines to provide drug-free pain relief. So a common question people have is, “does Medicare cover ice machines?” In this article, we answer this question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of ice machines, as well as other helpful info.

Does Medicare Cover Ice Machines?

The short answer is no. In most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of ice machines. That said, there may be some situations where you can get these costs covered. Below we’ll take a closer look at this to see when you might be able to get Medicare to pay for your ice therapy machine.

Original Medicare may provide coverage for hot and cold therapies on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Unfortunately, ice machines are not one of the covered therapy options.

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for ice therapy machines for home use. Despite their helpful nature, they are considered comfort items and not Durable Medical Equipment (DME). DME is covered by Medicare Part B.

To have a chance of getting Medicare coverage for an ice machine, your healthcare provider must make the case that the machine is medically necessary.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, it’s possible your plan will provide coverage for an ice machine. You’ll want to check with your plan provider to see if you can get coverage/reimbursement.

How Much Do Ice Therapy Machines Cost?

You can find ice therapy machines at many online retail sites. They usually cost between $130 to $220.

What Is A Cold Compress?

A cold compress is a form of treatment for severe pain and swelling through the use of ice packs or frozen materials. People use a cold compress to treat injury, pain, fever, and swollen parts of the body.

Even though you can buy products or machines that can provide cold compress/therapy, you can also create your own “Do It Yourself” cold compress at home.

What Are The Materials Needed To Create Your Own DIY Cold Compress?

Of course, you are going to need several items to create a cold compress. So here are the things you may need in creating your own cold compress:

  • Ice (Obviously)
  • A sealable bag
  • Two pieces of cloth or towel

What Is The Procedure In Making A Cold Compress?

Here are the following procedures you must follow on making your cold compress. There are two ways to create them, and here is how you do the first procedure:

  • Fill the sealable bag with ice cubes or just normal ice
  • Cover it with your cloth or towel
  • Apply it to the injured/painful/swollen area

Now here is for the second procedure:

  • Dampen the cloth or towel
  • Wring out the wet cloth or towel
  • Seal it in a bag
  • Put it in a freezer or any area cold enough to chill/freeze it.
  • Wait for it to freeze
  • Wrap it in another cloth

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 funeral expenses?

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