4 Ways Seniors Can Replace Durable Medical Equipment After A Disaster

replace medical equipment after a disaster

4 Ways Seniors Can Replace Durable Medical Equipment After A Disaster


Living in SE Texas, natural disasters like hurricanes and floods are just a way of life. What’s not a way of life is living without durable medical equipment.

If you “hunkered down” during a hurricane, flood or some other natural disaster and lost your medical equipment as a result, this guide will provide you with a few options to help you replace those items.

4 Ways Seniors Can Replace Durable Medical Equipment After A Disaster

In this guide we will discuss 3 ways to replace your durable medical equipment if it was damaged during a natural disaster. Those include:

  1. Contacting Medicare
  2. Calling Your Private Insurance Provider
  3. Locating your local Area Agency on Aging
  4. Non-Profits who provide free DME

1. Contact Medicare For Medical Equipment

Your first option for finding medical equipment after a disaster is contacting Medicare if you have it and also if they’ve already paid for equipment.

Whether it be a wheelchair, walker or diabetic supplies these are all things that Medicare can replace if your equipment/supplies were damaged in a storm.

In some cases, Medicare will pay for the cost of repairs or replacement of your supplies. Medicare will also cover any costs associated with rental items while your equipment is being replaced.

If you have Medicare call them at 800.633.4227 to learn more about replacing your medical equipment.

2. Your Private Insurance Provider Can Help You Obtain Medical Equipment

Another option is your private insurance company.

This goes for anyone with a Medicare Advantage Plan or an employer-based insurance plan. If your private insurance company paid for medical equipment in the past, there is a good chance they will replace your equipment following a flood, hurricane, wildfire, etc.

If you have a Medicare Advantage card (Amerigroup, )  you can call the number on the back of your insurance card or contact Medicare directly at 800.633.4227. Call Medicare and request the phone number to your Medicare Advantage insurance company. Whether it’s Amerigroup, Aetna or Wellcare, Medicare will have their contact information.

3. Call Your Local Area Agency on Aging For Help Replacing Medical Equipment After A Disaster

The Area Agency on Aging (also known as AAA) is an organization that helps individuals 60 and older connect to the local resources they need.

In addition to connecting you to programs that may replace your medical equipment after a disaster, Area Agency on Aging also provides the following:

  • Information, referral and assistance
  • Benefits counseling and legal assistance
  • Care coordination
  • Caregiver support services
  • In-home support services
  • Legal awareness
  • Nutrition services
  • Ombudsman Program

To find the nearest AAA to you visit the National Association of Area Agency on Aging website. On their main page, enter your zip code and you’ll find AAA chapters close to your location.

If you live in Houston, you can reach your local AAA by calling 832.393.4301, visiting their website or office located at 8000 North Stadium Drive, Houston, TX 77054.

4. Finding Local Non-Profits Who Provide Medical Equipment 

If you are in Houston we created a guide to help you find free DME titled Free Medical Equipment In Houston. In this guide you will find details about non-profits like RSVP and Houston Council on Independent Living, both of which provide free medical equipment to seniors and those with disabilities.

For those living outside of Houston, you can simply Google search “free medical equipment [your city]” and you should get a list of options.

I tried “free medical equipment Dallas” and quickly found the DME Exchange of Dallas. If you live in a major city, there is a good chance you will find similar organizations.

Another option for those in other cities is checking out an article from Low Income Relief called How To Get Free Used Medical Equipment. They have gathered a number of non-profits in each state who provide free medical equipment.

Conclusion 

Your very first option for replacing your medical equipment after a storm should be your insurance provider.

If you have Medicare or private insurance (and they paid for your equipment) there is a good chance that your equipment will be replaced. If not you want to find the Area Agency on Aging near your because they can potentially refer you to non-profits who help with medical equipment.