Money is getting tighter for everyone, and your health shouldn’t take a hit because of it, right?
Since getting coverage for other health issues is the norm, some might wonder if there’s a way to get coverage for something that can protect their respiratory health.
Those in question want to know if they can get insurance for an air purifier.
It can be done, but it might be more complex than it sounds.
Can You Get Insurance to Pay for an Air Purifier?
In a roundabout way, yes.
Unfortunately, it’s more challenging than simply approaching your insurance provider and assuming you’ll be covered for your purchase.
Unless it’s been deemed medically necessary.
If your healthcare provider has prescribed an air purification device for you because of medical reasons, then many insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid, will reimburse you.
Keep in mind; however, this may depend upon the model of air purifier you’re looking at, as some of them are FDA-approved while many of them are not.
However, insurance providers generally do not provide air purifier coverage since they are not considered durable medical equipment (DME).
DME includes things like the following. Note this is not an exhaustive list.
- Blood sugar meters and tests for diabetics
- Canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs
- CPAP machines
- Hospital beds and patient lifts
- Oxygen equipment
For something to qualify as durable medical equipment, it has to meet specific criteria.
- It’s durable
- It’s used for medical reasons
- It’s typically of no use to someone who isn’t sick or injured
- It’s for use in the home
- It has a life expectancy of at least three years
An air purifier can meet those conditions for someone with certain medical conditions, in which case their doctor could write a prescription.
Things are a little trickier for those who can’t get a prescription for an air purifier.
Using Employee Health Benefits to Purchase an Air Purifier
Depending on where you work and your health care coverage, part of your benefits package may be a Flexible Spending Account (FSA).
An FSA is a healthcare benefit that covers an employee’s qualified medical expenses of up to $2,850 annually.
The account is funded by pre-tax payroll deductions and works annually.
Funds do not roll over to the following year. They have to be used in the plan year or forfeited.
This isn’t something that’s rolled into all healthcare benefit plans, so check with your Human Resources to make sure you have this option.
What can you do if you can’t get a doctor’s prescription and your work does not provide an FSA account?
There’s one more thing you can try.
Consider Getting a Health Savings Account (HSA)
If your company doesn’t offer a Flexible Spending Account, consider setting up a Health Savings Account (HSA).
The difference between an FSA and an HSA is that the first is funded through your payroll, and the second is personal savings account that you set up to pay for healthcare costs.
You can set up an HSA at insurance companies, banks, and other financial institutions. As long as you use the money for qualified medical expenses, it isn’t taxed.
Qualified medical expenses include things like:
- Acid reflux relief systems
- Acupressure aids
- Baby monitors
- Breast pumps
- CPAP machines
- UV sanitizers
It’s important to note that there is no complete list of what’s included as a qualified medical expense online.
If you’ve searched to see if air purifiers are included and have yet to find that information, keep going.
Check with your administrator to see if they’re eligible.
Are Air Purifiers Worth It?
Whether or not you can get your insurance to cover the cost of an air purifier, they are worth having.
Even if you don’t have a medical reason for needing one.
Adding one to your home should be a no-brainer for those suffering from asthma or allergies.
But what if you don’t have medical reasons?
If you breathe air, isn’t it smart to make sure you’re breathing the cleanest air possible?
That’s what air purifiers do.
They work to improve overall air quality by filtering out an array of pollutants from the air, including:
- airborne particles
The health benefits of using an air purifier are clear.
Allergens. Depending on the season, they are typically a number of allergens in the air, including but not limited to spores, pollen, and pet dander.
Adding an air purifier to your home will reduce allergens and help those with sensitivities breathe easier.
Airborne particles. Reducing some airborne particles and microbes can help reduce the spread of sickness, especially during cold and flu season.
Airborne particles can include bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins, and other contaminants.
Dust. While you may not think dust harms your health, dust particles can harm people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.
An air purifier can help with reducing the number of dust particles in the air.
What to Look for in an Air Purifier
If you are fortunate enough to get insurance to pay for an air purifier, here are some things to consider.
High MERV rating filter. Choosing an air purifier with a high MERV rating ensures the filter’s efficiency.
For example, a filter with a MERV 15 rating can remove 95% of the particles in the air.
Air purifiers with a HEPA filter. Filters will remove particles down to .03 microns, which is better than the highest-rated MERV filter can do.
Since most residential HVAC systems aren’t capable of a HEPA filter, choosing an air purifier with HEPA may be a good choice for some.
Kill instead of catch pathogens. Most filters catch and contain particles and pathogens such as microbes and viruses.
If you want to kill them or sanitize your air, consider an air purifier that uses ultraviolet (UV) light filters.
There are some practical things to consider when looking for an air purifier.
Depending on where you want to put it in your home, you likely don’t want something that makes a lot of noise, especially if you’re putting it in your bedroom.
Before purchasing an air purifier, check the decibel rating to see how quiet or noisy they are.
Also, look for a purifier that doesn’t require much maintenance.
Getting your insurance to cover and pay for their air purifier depends on your situation and health.
There are a few alternatives for others, either through your employment and an FSA account or by setting up your own HSA account at an insurance company or financial institution.
Do your homework first, especially if you plan to use your HAS.
You may not be able to find air purifiers included in a list of qualified medical expenses online but check with your administrator to see if you can get it included.
You may be surprised!