No matter what stage of life you are in, it’s always a good idea to find new ways to save money. If you’re someone with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or a similar lung disease, one of the best ways you can cut costs is by looking for ways to save money on medication, medical equipment, and other medical expenses. This study found that the average annual healthcare cost per COPD patient is around $4,147 and that increased disease severity is associated with higher healthcare costs.
Unfortunately, many people find that it’s not as easy as they thought it would be to save money on medical expenses. While there are many ways to save on medications, things like doctor’s visits, hospital visits, and pulmonary rehabilitation are pretty set in stone. And trying to avoid these things all together to save money could put your long-term health at risk. Be sure to visit a medical specialist whenever you need to, and find other ways to save such as on your medical oxygen equipment.
If you’re just getting started with oxygen therapy, it might not be immediately evident how many options you have available to you and that just a few considerations could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars when it comes to purchasing and maintaining your oxygen device. In this post, we are going to highlight some tips for getting the best deal on an oxygen concentrator and avoiding some of the common pitfalls many people experience as a first-time oxygen buyer. If you have any questions, be sure to leave them in the comments or reach out to us by phone or email.
Find the Right Retailer to Buy From
By far the most important thing to remember if you’re looking for a good deal on an oxygen concentrator is to find a reputable retailer to buy from. The internet has made it easier than ever before to find the exact product you’re looking for and have it delivered on your porch within a matter of days. However, the internet has also opened the door for scammers and dishonest companies to get your money. This is why it’s so important to be prudent when it comes to the company that you work with.
Possibly the biggest scam you should be aware of when buying oxygen is companies that don’t ask to see your supplemental oxygen prescription. In the United States, oxygen is a “controlled substance” meaning it can’t simply be bought and sold freely without proof of medical necessity. If a company sells you oxygen without having you provide a prescription from your doctor, they are either doing so illegally, or they’re selling you low grade oxygen that will not meet your medical needs. Either way, these are deceptive business practices and they could be deceiving you in other ways as well.
Another thing to watch out for is something called “recreational oxygen.” This is not necessarily a scam or deceptive but it can lead to confusion when you’re trying to buy an oxygen concentrator to treat your COPD. Essentially, recreational oxygen is a type of low-grade oxygen used by hikers, climbers, or people traveling to higher altitudes than they’re used to. Allegedly, using these cylinders periodically can help you prevent breathlessness and altitude sickness, but there is little evidence to suggest this is the case. The important thing to remember is that “recreational” oxygen does not equate to “medical” oxygen.
Ultimately, the reason you should focus on finding a reputable oxygen retailer to work with is because purchasing the wrong device will set you back even further financially. Many people are ecstatic to find an oxygen device for a couple hundred dollars only to find out that it’s not going to meet their medical needs and that the company they bought it from doesn’t accept returns. Aside from breaking the bank, buying an oxygen device from a shady company can compromise your health and leave you without oxygen when you need it the most.
Decide Between New, Used, and Refurbished
Another way to get a great deal on an oxygen concentrator is to consider different buying options like new, used, and refurbished units. We wrote a post discussing all of the different buying options for portable oxygen concentrators in a different post, so be sure to check it out for more information. However, we’ll summarize the main points here for your convenience.
A “new” oxygen concentrator is one that has never been opened, turned on, or used in any way since it was manufactured. The obvious benefit to having a new concentrator is that the unit has no wear and tear and that you can expect it to last many years without needing repairs. What’s more, most new concentrators come with a manufacturer warranty which will cover you for several years if anything is wrong with the unit. Although rare, manufacturing defects are a possibility, so having the warranty will guarantee you repairs or a full replacement if your unit doesn’t work.
A “used” oxygen concentrator is one that has been owned by another oxygen patient in the past. The great news though is that “used” doesn’t mean that the unit is old and worn out. Some oxygen patients never use a unit or it is only lightly used before returning it. What this means is that you’ll be paying a discounted price on an item that is in “near mint” condition. When you purchase a concentrator from LPT Medical, you can rest assured that it’s been tested beforehand to ensure full functionality.
A “refurbished” portable oxygen concentrator differs slightly from a used unit in that repairs or replacements have been done to it. One of the common part replacements you’ll see in a refurbished oxygen concentrator are the sieve beds. These are specialized filters that remove unwanted gas from the air, allowing you to receive medical-grade oxygen. Over time, sieve beds can become worn out and need to be replaced.
One final option for you to get your hands on an oxygen concentrator is through renting one. This is not always the most practical option, but if you know you will only be needing one for a few days or weeks, it may be your most cost-effective option. Renting an oxygen concentrator is ideal for people who typically use an oxygen tank or stationary concentrator at home, but want to be able to go on a trip without having to hassle with lugging their tank around or finding a place to refill it.
Overall, there are benefits to each of the buying options, it’s just a matter of your individual situation. Be sure to ask our oxygen concentrator specialists here at LPT Medical if you have any questions or concerns.
Take Advantage of Package Deals
Package deals are one of the best ways to save money on an oxygen concentrator. A package deal is when you buy accessories alongside your oxygen concentrator unit and get a discount on your final price. This means you’ll be able to save a lot of money if you buy everything up front rather than buying each accessory separately. Package deals are not always going on, so be sure to talk with your oxygen concentrator specialist who can let you know what’s available.
One package deal many people enjoy is one that offers a carrying case, battery, and DC charging cable. This way, you will have the ultimate freedom to move around the minute you receive your oxygen concentrator instead of having to order additional accessories later on down the road. Most oxygen concentrators come with the standard size battery but if you think you will need a battery that lasts longer, you can always upgrade it and maybe even get some additional savings that way.
Another reason to take advantage of package deals is that it could help you save money on shipping. With very few exceptions, it’s almost always cheaper to ship everything in one box rather than individually. While it may not seem like that much extra to ship a couple of accessories, the costs can really start to add up.
Two package deals we highly recommend are the Caire FreeStyle Comfort package and the Inogen One G5 package. These are some of the top-performing concentrators currently on the market, and when you consider everything that comes with them, you’ll see why they’re so popular. Just the base packages include an 8-cell battery, AC and DC charging cables so that you can charge your device anywhere, a carrying case, oxygen tubing, and a 3-year manufacturer warranty. Speak with one of our oxygen concentrator experts to see which one of these would be best for you.
Take Advantage of Sales
Sales are another thing you should keep an eye out for when you’re shopping for a portable oxygen concentrator. We offer a lot of oxygen concentrator sales here at LPT Medical because we want to get these devices to as many COPD patients as possible, even people who are on a tight budget. Currently, we are running a deal where you can get a free online pulmonary workshop course with the purchase of a new portable oxygen concentrator.
This program is called Thrive eLearning and it provides access to one-on-one counseling, support groups, and online courses that help you slow the progression of COPD. One of the important things you’ll learn during this course is breathing exercises which are a powerful tool for alleviating symptoms of breathlessness, fatigue, and chest pain which are commonly associated with COPD. You’ll also be able to connect one-on-one with doctors, caretakers, and other healthcare professionals, saving you time and money.
Sales are pretty common in the oxygen industry because the market is always changing. For example, we might offer a sale on one concentrator because a newer concentrator has hit the market. This is the perfect opportunity to get a great deal on a slightly older unit that still meets your needs perfectly. One of the best ways to keep up with these sales is to join our mailing list by filling out the form at the side of the page. You’ll be notified immediately whenever we have a new promotion going on!
Consider Your Financing Options
“Financing” an oxygen concentrator means splitting the payments up into more manageable monthly payments. While financing typically doesn’t save you money in the long run, it does lead to more financial security, because you won’t see the full cost of the concentrator come out of your bank account all at once. If at any time, you decide you want to pay off the rest of the concentrator all at once, you can do so without incurring any additional fees. Before committing to the financing terms, however, you should make sure that the company doesn’t charge a bunch of interest on top of the original price. Make sure you know what the exact amount of interest is and not just the monthly payments.
Oxygen concentrators are the ideal oxygen therapy device for most COPD patients. They’re very lightweight, compact, versatile, and most importantly, they provide you with medical-grade oxygen that you need to stay healthy. But if you want to get the best deal on an oxygen concentrator, you need to make several considerations first. Most importantly, you need to work with an oxygen concentrator retailer that you can rely on.
Here at LPT Medical, we take your oxygen needs seriously, and as such, we will take the time and diligence to understand both your medical and financial needs, then use our knowledge of the industry to align you with the perfect concentrator for you. It’s our goal to get an oxygen concentrator in the hands of any and all COPD patients who need them, so we will work with you to provide you with the best deal and we’ll even work with your healthcare provider to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork to buy an oxygen concentrator legally.
To get started, simply give us a call or shoot us an email.