Does Medicare Cover Air Purifiers?

Tamera Jackson by Tamera Jackson | Licensed since 2007
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This article was updated on: 09/10/2018

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If you suffer from allergies or have severe respiratory issues, you may be wondering if using an air purifier at home might help. Air purifiers are devices that may help remove certain types of indoor air pollution. Learn more how air purifiers work and whether Medicare covers this type of equipment.

How air purifiers work

Air purifiers are a type of air cleaning equipment that removes indoor air pollutants, which are harmful particles in the air that can cause serious health problems. According to the World Health Organization, 4.3 million individuals die from exposure to household air pollutants every year. (Many of these people are in developing countries.)

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some sources of indoor air pollutants include:

  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Animal dander
  • Biological pollutants, such as viruses and bacteria
  • Gaseous pollutants from cooking with a gas stove
  • Car exhaust
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Household products (e.g., paint thinners or cleaning products)
  • Pesticides
  • Building materials (e.g., asbestos or lead)

Some homes have a ventilation system that can replace indoor air with clean outside air. However, air purifiers may be needed when the outside air is also contaminated.

Types of air purifiers

According to the EPA, there are two types of air purifiers: mechanical air purifiers use a filter to remove air pollutants, while electronic air purifiers use electrostatic attraction to create an electrical charge that collects “charged” air pollutants. An air purifier can either be installed directly into your home’s ventilation system or may be a portable device that can be moved from room to room.

According to the EPA, evidence is unclear whether air purifiers may be helpful in improving symptoms for those who are especially sensitive to air pollutants, such as older adults and those with allergies or asthma. Air purifiers may help in removing smaller air pollutants; however, according to the EPA, larger particles often settle too quickly from the air before air purifiers can effectively remove them. Talk to your doctor about whether air purifiers or other devices might help with your health issues.

Medicare coverage of air purifiers

Medicare generally doesn’t cover air purifiers or similar types of equipment, such as dehumidifers, humidifiers, or room heaters. In some situations, Medicare may cover humidifiers as durable medical equipment if medically necessary. Medicare may also cover Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines if you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. However, you’ll usually pay out of pocket for air purifiers, since these aren’t covered.

If you have other questions about Medicare coverage of air purifiers or other types of equipment, feel free to ask. I can show you plan options that may work for your situation. You can get started by clicking the link below to request an email from me with plan information; or, use the link right next to it to schedule a phone appointment. To start browsing right now, click the Compare Plans button on this page to see plan options in your zip code.

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