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How can I find a Medicare-assigned store to purchase an upright walker?

Jesse Migneault // August 26, 2021

Reviewed by our health policy panel.

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Q. How can I find a Medicare-assigned store to purchase an upright walker?

A. To find a Medicare-approved durable medical equipment supplier in your area, you can visit Medicare.gov’s supplier directory. You’ll need to input your zip code, after which the tool will generate a list of product categories. From there, you can select the category that applies to you – in this case, walkers, which is its own category – for a list of retailers in your vicinity.

The database of Medicare-assigned retailers is collected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC), which is responsible for ensuring that suppliers comply with Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) standards. Suppliers must apply to be included in the NSC as Medicare-approved retailers.

All suppliers must have a Medicare supplier number. Without this number, Medicare won’t pay your claim – even if the equipment in question is something you’re eligible for.

Suppliers that are included in the NSC agree to charge the Medicare-approved price for their products, and cannot bill you for anything more than your Medicare deductible and coinsurance. Furthermore, approved suppliers will generally submit Medicare claims on your behalf.

As a Medicare enrollee, you’re entitled to coverage for durable medical equipment – including walkers – provided they’re prescribed by your doctor. Depending on the circumstances, Medicare’s coverage may allow you to buy the walker, or it may have you rent the walker.

If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, your out-of-pocket cost for a walker will generally be the Part B deductible (assuming you haven’t already met it for the year; in 2021, it’s $203), plus 20% of the rest of the Medicare-approved amount of the device you need. If you have a Medigap plan, it will cover some or all of that 20% coinsurance (and if you have Medigap plan C or F, it will also pay the Part B deductible; note that Plans C and F are no longer available to newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries).

If you’re enrolled in Medicare Advantage, your health plan will let you know the cost-sharing that applies for durable medical equipment, including walkers. The specifics will vary from one plan to another, as Medicare Advantage plans set their own cost-sharing, within general parameters laid out by the federal government.


Jesse Migneault is a journalist and editor who has written about business, government and healthcare – including public and private-payer health insurance. His articles have appeared in HealthPayerIntelligence, the Hartford Courant, Portsmouth Herald, Seacoastonline.com, Foster’s Daily Democrat, and York County Coast Star.

In addition, his work has been cited by health industry stakeholders such as the Eugene S. Farley Health Policy Center, Association of Healthcare Journalists, American Academy of Actuaries, Kaiser Permanente, blueEHR, San Diego Law Review, Medicare Agent News, healthjournalism.org, and Concierge Medicine among others.

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Betty walsh
2 years ago

536322 area locate Medicare supplier has upright walker

Candy Milligan
1 year ago

Husband has a blood clot from hip to ankle. Could he qualify for a walker to help him get up and around on UHC Medicare Advantage plan? 73162 area code

Patricia McCoy
10 months ago

Having hip surgery soon got a prescription for a walker.how do I go by getting a upright walker.i have UHC and Medicare insurance.

was not
8 months ago

Referred to the directory of Medicare suppliers near me. The directory should be updated! Contacted a few different suppliers on the list and one only supplies customized wheelchairs the other only services hospice patients. One company is listed and when contacted they stated they do not bill Medicare. So frustrating ,

Tanya Feke, MD
7 months ago
Reply to  was not

The Medical supplier directory can be found at: https://www.medicare.gov/medical-equipment-suppliers/

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services uses information from the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) to update the directory. However, suppliers of medical equipment only need to revalidate their Medicare privileges with the NSC every three years. The NSC makes sure that suppliers are meeting certain standards, and this can sometimes require a site visit. It could be that the COVID pandemic led to backlogs in the process or that the site is only updated when suppliers are revalidated. This unfortunately could lead to a delay in our getting the most up-to-date information.

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