What is competitive bidding?Please note: Due to program reform, there will be a temporary gap in the competitive bidding program for approximately two years beginning January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020. During the gap you can secure all services from any-willing supplier and will not be limited to designated suppliers. The program is expected to resume in 2021. Your supplier can provide additional information when the program resumes.
In many parts of the country, a new program called Competitive Bidding will require you to obtain certain medical equipment from specific, Medicare-contracted suppliers in order for Medicare to pay.
Not all products are subject to competitive bidding in the same area. If you are located in a city where the program is in effect, you will need to obtain some or all of the following items from a contracted supplier:
- Oxygen, oxygen equipment, and supplies
- Standard power wheelchairs, scooters, and related accessories
- Enteral nutrition, equipment, and supplies
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices and Respiratory Assist Devices (RADs), and related supplies and accessories
- Hospital beds and related accessories
- Walkers and related accessories
- Support surfaces (Group 1 and Group 2 mattresses and overlays)
- Manual Wheelchairs and accessories
- Mail-order and local home delivery of diabetic supplies
- TENS Units and supplies
- Patient Lifts
- Seat Lift Chairs
- Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Devices and related supplies and accessories
- Medicare has also proposed expanding the program to ventilators, back braces and knee braces. Your supplier can confirm if any of these items are subject to competitive bidding restrictions when the program resumes.
Competitive Bidding areas are designated based on the zip code of your permanent residence on file with Social Security. To find out if your zip code is affected by Competitive Bidding, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-4227). You may also visit Medicare.gov
and lookup suppliers in your area by zip code (a notice will appear if your area is subject to Competitive Bidding). If medical equipment is marked with a yellow/orange star, it will need to be provided by a contracted supplier (also marked with an orange star). Throughout this guide, products that are potentially impacted by the competitive bidding program will be designated with a double asterisk **. Your supplier can assist you with answering your questions about competitive bidding and can address whether or not they have been contracted to provide the services you need if subject to competitive bid.