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Thread: help paying for catheters

  1. #1

    help paying for catheters

    I've been getting 10 catheters a month through medicare, cleaning and reusing them. My doctor wants me to start using a single time catheter resulting in 150 catheters a month. Being medicare only pays 80% this is expensive. Is there a supplemental insurance that can help me pay for them?

  2. #2
    How are you cleaning and reusing them? I have a pretty good system that seems to work very well (for me, anyway). After I use a catheter, I rinse/wash it with water and shake the excess water off. I have a tall 500ml graduated cylinder with a top that I made for it. The top has a hole that is just a little bigger than the catheter. The cylinder is filled with alcohol, and I put it back in there after I rinse/dry it. When I go to use it later, I just pull it out and give it a quick wipe with a little toilet paper. I have been using this system for years, and it has worked quite well. Might be worth a try. When I go out and about, I just use a catheter once and pitch it. However, I don't see any reason why I wouldn't be able to put it back in the package and bring it home to clean and reuse at home.

  3. #3
    Are you eligible for Medicaid?

    Medicare is supposed to fund (at 80%) up to 180 single use catheters per month. You should not be required to re-use them. They are FDA approved only for single use (look on the package: it says this).

    Where are you buying your catheters, and what type are you using? There can be major differences in costs from supplier to supplier.


  4. #4
    I'm buying from medequip co. They're charging medicare $5.91 for a tiemann coude catheter. With medicare paying 80% I'm paying the other 20%. Were talking over $200 for 180 catheters. Is a supp. insurance co. the way to go. I don't know what they charge. I understand catheters are durable medical equipment.

  5. #5
    Senior Member GinoL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Bay State, USA
    You may end paying less for the supplement insurance depending on where you live and what's available there.

  6. #6
    Do you really need such an expensive catheter? Tiemann/Coude tipped will be more expensive. Have you shopped around to other catheter suppliers to see if they can beat this price?

    If you can afford to pay for a supplemental insurance policy, they may cover the 20% but you may end up paying more for the coverage than you would paying the 20% out of pocket.

    Again, are you not eligible for Medicaid?? Many people have Medicaid as their secondary insurance, esp. if they don't have a share of cost. If your income is so low that paying for catheters is a burden, I am wondering why you don't qualify for Medicaid?


  7. #7
    I do need the tiemann catheter and I'm not eligible for medicaid. I guess I'll shop around for a better price. Supplemental insurance is something I've been thinking about even before this cath issue. So many to chose from, along with getting the right plan can be tough.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Amarillo, Tx
    I get 180 catheters a month through Liberator Medical. I have Medicare. When i ran into financial difficulties they had me fill out an application for a waiver of fees. I was approved and now have no copay. They charge more per unit than someplace like Allegro but with the waiver it can't be beat. It's definitely worth a phone call.

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