PFF Insights

Supplemental Oxygen – Know Your Rights

by Kate Gates, Senior Director of Programs, PFF
November 07, 2020

In a 2018 survey from the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 50% of participants reported that they had experienced a problem with their supplemental oxygen at some point. In fact, many patients with original Medicare don’t know what their supplemental oxygen rights are. The PFF has created a new Medicare Patients’ Oxygen Rights brochure so that patients can learn about this important topic.

A few examples of Medicare patients’ oxygen rights include:

  • Right to get the type of oxygen equipment that your doctor prescribes

    Your doctor will prescribe equipment like tanks, a stationary concentrator, a portable oxygen concentrator, or other items. Your oxygen company should give you the type of equipment that your doctor prescribes. Medicare will only pay for one type of portable equipment and one type of stationary equipment. You will have to pay out of pocket if you need more than one type of portable equipment or stationary equipment. Your oxygen company doesn’t have to give you a specific brand. Also, in many areas of the United States, liquid oxygen is not available. Learn more about the different types of oxygen equipment at

  • Right to have equipment that works

    Your oxygen company should maintain equipment according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. They must fix broken equipment at no cost to you.

  • Right to make a complaint

      There are a number of ways to make a complaint, namely --

  • You can file a complaint with your oxygen company. If you make a complaint to your oxygen company, they must let you know that they have received your complaint within 5 days. Your company must answer your complaint in writing within 14 days.
  • You can participate in a process called “Immediate Advocacy.” This process is voluntary for both the patient and the oxygen company. Learn more at
  • You can make a complaint by calling Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

This list of rights is for patients who have original Medicare. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your plan will cover oxygen but there may be differences in how they do so. Contact your plan for more information.


Visit the PFF’s oxygen page for more oxygen resources, such as the  Quick Start Guide to Oxygen and Oxygen Basics brochures. If you have questions or would like to receive hard copies of any of the PFF’s oxygen-related educational materials, call the PFF’s Oxygen Information Line at 844-825-5733.