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Support hose are very similar to compression stockings. They only have a few differences that most people overlook. (More on this below.)
And just like compression stockings, support hoses can be used for medical purposes.
And because they are used for medical reasons, many people have a common question, “Does Medicare cover support hose?” In this article, we answer the question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of support hose, as well as other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover Support Hose?
The short answer is, no, in most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of a support hose. 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 support hose.
Just like with compression stockings, Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for support hoses. Though they are used for medical purposes, they are not covered by Original Medicare.
They are not considered Durable Medical Equipment (DME). DME is covered by Medicare Part B. Original Medicare also often does not provide coverage for supplies that you can buy over the counter.
However, it could be a different story with Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C). Some Medicare Part C plans may provide coverage for the price of over-the-counter supplies which includes support hoses. Because different Advantage plans cover different things, you’ll want to check with your plan to see if they cover support hoses.
Since Medicare generally does not provide coverage for support hoses, it is important to know how much they will cost you out-of-pocket.
How Much Does Support Hoses Cost?
Support hoses can cost between $10 to $100 per pair. They can be easily purchased at medical supply companies, online stores, and drug stores. You do not need to have a prescription from your doctor or healthcare provider to purchase a pair of support hose.
What Are The Differences Between A Support Hose And A Compression Stocking?
Support hoses and compression stockings are so similar to each other. And many people rarely see the difference between the two items. However, they are different.
Here are some differences between a support hose and a compression stocking:
- Support hose exerts less pressure compared to compression stockings. A support hose’s compression pressure range is often less than 20mmHg. On the other hand, compression stockings exert 20mmHg or more of pressure.
- Support hoses are used to treat mild conditions, counteract possible bad effects of prolonged standing, and prevent venous disorders. Compression stockings use more pressure to treat more serious medical conditions like spider veins.
- A pair of support hoses can be easily bought without the need for a prescription from your healthcare provider. Compression garments, on the other hand, may require your doctor’s prescription before you purchase. That is to know how much pressure you need for your compression stockings.
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 wigs for Alopecia?