lady-in-wheelchairNeed a Medical Device?

Many people need medical devices to assist with their disability, but their insurance will not cover purchasing the device, thus leaving the person with the choice of doing without or paying sometimes outrageous prices at stores. Other options exist for finding medical devices, though, and as the population ages, locating medical devices will probably become much easier.


Every state is mandated by the Federal government to have a program whereby used medical equipment can be re-used. The programs vary by state and may offer different equipment. Some states do not re-use devices that can only prescribed by a physician. Also, some programs may allow a charge for the device, albeit, the charge is probably much lower than purchasing it at a store.  Check these two websites for information pertaining to your state: RESNA Catalyst Project and Independent Living Research Utilization.

If the state program is not available for you or does not have the device you need, try some tried and true other methods of locating items. You can start with your local newspaper classifieds as well as online classifieds. Craigslist is a favorite for finding things, but one of the drawbacks to this website is locating items beyond a specific location. Try this website instead: Onecraigs allows you to search Craigslist, but shows results from all over the U.S.  Ebay is another great resource. A recent search for wheelchairs found them starting around $50.

Another website we came across is Recycled Medical. It is basically a classified ads website for used medical devices. If you have something that you no longer need consider placing it on this website for someone else.

Some Goodwill stores will sell used equipment. Check with the manager at your local store and see if you can be placed on a waiting list in the event a particular device is donated. Ewing, New Jersey is home to a 10,000 square foot showroom of donated and refurbished medical equipment. The store serves southern New Jersey and Philadelphia areas. (

The National Spinal Chord Injury Association maintains a convenient list of websites where people can find medical devices.

The DME List is a company that accepts donated equipment then resells to needy individuals. Fill out a form on their website with what you are looking for and they will contact you back. (

If you cannot locate anything used in your area, then you might also try Walmart. Walmart lists hundreds of medical devices on their website that are not routinely sold in their stores. With "Site-to-Store" shipping, shipping is usually free. Follow this link to go straight to the home medical section of Walmart's website:

Hopefully some of these suggestions will help you locate the piece of equipment you need at a reduced cost or even for free. It may take a little bit of sleuthing to find it, but saving money is always worth it!


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