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Free Medical Equipment In Los Angeles: How And Where To Get It

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If you want to find free durable medical equipment in Los Angeles, this article will show you how, and where to do that. Some of this equipment may be brand new, and some of it will be used.

I have put together a long list of sources for free home medical equipment in Los Angeles, and where necessary, instructions on how to apply.

As this article is very long, I have included a table of contents with “quick links”, to allow you to jump to the section that interests you the most.

 

You can get free home medical equipment in Los Angeles from –

 

  • the Ability Tools Assistive Technology Program
  • AT Exchange
  • reuse, recycling and refurbishing centers
  • medical equipment loan closets
  • independent living centers
  • free equipment listings online
  • Medicaid
  • Very cheap with Medicare, but not free
  • the VA
  • cheapish  from Goodwill stores
  • cheapish from Salvation Army stores
  • cheapish from thrift stores
CONTENTS - Overview & Quick Links

Free medical equipment from Ability Tools – the California State Assistive Technology Program

Free medical equipment from the California Assistive Technology Reuse Coalition

CATRC Reuse Programs in Greater Los Angeles

Ability Tools Device Lending and Demo Centers in Los Angeles

Independent Reuse Programs in Los Angeles

Centers for Independent Living in Los Angeles

Free Medical equipment loan Closets in Los Angeles

Senior Centers in Los Angeles

Free medical equipment for Veterans in Los Angeles

Veteran Centers in Los Angeles

Free medical equipment online near me in Los Angeles

Free medical equipment on Medicaid in California

Medical equipment with Medicare

Where to find out about free medical equipment in your neighborhood in Los Angeles

Where to get cheaper medical equipment in Los Angeles

 

Free medical equipment from Ability Tools, the State Assistive Technology Program

 

The California Assistive Technology Program  “ABILITY TOOLS” is responsible for development of the access of the community to “assistive technology devices”

As part of its programs, it does this with the assistance of a coalition of “Reuse Programs” called the CATRC – The California Assistive Technology Reuse Coalition.

The Reuse Centers/Programs are spread out across California.

The members of the coalition work with ABILITY TOOLS to collect and refurbish used medical equipment, and to then help to re-allocate it to those in need.

 

ABILITY TOOLS and the  CATRC offer to those in need –

  • free short term loans of new and used home medical equipment
  • free long short term loans of new and used home medical equipment
  • lend new or used medical equipment indefinitely for free
  • give in certain cases used home medical equipment for free
  • the opportunity to buy used home medical equipment at a very low cost, if they don’t qualify for it for free

The home medical equipment is loaned to those with the greatest need first.

The Ability Tools AT Exchange

 

Ability Tools maintains an online Assistive Technology Exchange on which participating organizations can post their inventories of used medical equipment and AT devices available.

The Assistive Technology Exchange website can be found by going here – http://abilitytools.org/services/at-exchange-transition.php

The reuse programs of the CATRC put up the refurbished equipment on the site for loan, and the other programs can see what is available for the individuals they are helping.

“The reuse programs accept donations of assistive technology devices and medical equipment, repair, and sanitize them, and then offer them to people with disabilities for free, or at low cost.” – Source here.

Free medical equipment from the California Assistive Technology Reuse Coalition

 

You will find the CATRC website is here.

One way to find out if you are eligible for any free, or low cost durable medical equipment on a loan or a permanent basis, is to contact the CATRC member reuse center in your area.

In the Greater Los Angeles area, there are 7 of the CATRC reuse centers/programs dealing with home medical equipment.

CATRC Reuse Programs in Greater Los Angeles

 

The different CATRC Reuse Programs may prioritize members of their communities in different ways, or not.

Some programs will loan medical equipment, or sell it at a very low cost, or give it away for free to those in need, or all three.

ALS Association, Los Angeles Chapter

 

The ALS Association (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) of Los Angeles runs a “loan closet” which can be used by their registered members.

Address:
P.O. Box 565
Agoura Hills, CA 91376-0565

Phone: 818 865 8067

Website:http://webgw.alsa.org/

 

_________________________

DAYLE MCINTOSH CENTER (DMC) Reuse, Repair and Recycle Program DAYLE MCINTOSH CENTER (DMC) (Orange County)

 

The Dayle McIntosh Center’s reuse, recycle and repair program serves all the residents of Orange County living with disabilities.

Their equipment loan program website page is here.

The list of items available is always in flux, but it includes equipment such as –

  • wheelchairs
  • walkers
  • canes
  • crutches
  • shower chairs
  • commode chairs
  • Hoyer lifts

Address:
501 N. Brookhurst Street, #102
Anaheim, CA 92801

Phone: 714 621 3300

Website: https://daylemc.org

 

You need to contact the program to if you are eligible for an equipment loan.

To see what equipment they have available, you can look on the Ability Tools AT Exchange.

 

_________________________

Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living (SCRS-IL)

 

The SCRS is a Center for Independent Living, which loans out used medical equipment, for free, to individuals with disabilities in the community.

The durable medical equipment loaned includes items such as –

  • wheelchairs
  • walkers
  • crutches
  • canes
  • rollators
  • portable commodes
  • transfer benches
  • sliding boards

 

For inquiries, you should call one of the following office numbers below, depending on where you live, and ask for the “AT Facilitator”.

Website: https://scrs-ilc.org

Arcadia Office Address:
1165 Clark St,
Arcadia, CA 91006

Phone: 626 239 6012

Downey Office Address:
7830 Quill Drive, Ste D
Downey, CA 90242

Phone: 562 862 6531

Pasadena Office Address:
2023 Lincoln Ave,
Pasadena, CA 91103

Phone: 626 587 5010

 

_________________________

Communities Actively Living Independent and Free (CALIF)

CALIF finds new homes for assistive technology devices to individuals in need.

The equipment reassigned includes items such as –

  • durable medical equipment
  • communication devices
  • vision products
  • hearing products
  • mobility products
  • assistive devices

 

You can give them a call and make inquiries at the phone number below.

Address:
634 South Spring Street, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Phone: 213 627 0477

Website: https://califilc.webs.com

 

_________________________

Convalescent Aid Society – CAS

The free loan of wheelchairs, and other durable medical equipment for in-home use, is provided to residents in Pasadena and its neighboring communities, by the CAS.

CAS’s equipment loans are available to anyone in their service area, which you can see on the map here.

You have to go through an application process, which you can find about here.

CAS loans out medical equipment such as –

  • hospital beds
  • bed trapezes
  • quad canes
  • canes
  • crutches
  • bedside commodes
  • raised toilet seats
  • bath chairs
  • transfer benches
  • walkers
  • rollators
  • wheelchairs
  • transport chairs

 

To make inquiries, you can call the number below, or use the website contact page.

Address:
3255 East Foothill Boulevard,
Pasadena, CA 91107

Phone: 626 793 1696

Website: https://www.convalescentaidsociety.com/

 

_________________________

Community Access Center (CAC)

 

The Riverside CAC runs an equipment reuse program and loan closet, which includes items such as  –

  • wheelchairs
  • ramps
  • rollators
  • walkers
  • hearing aids
  • hospital beds
  • suction safety grips
  • visual aids for senior low vision program

 

To make inquiries about the equipment loans, call the CAC on the phone number listed below. 

Address:
6848 Magnolia Avenue, Suite 150
Riverside, CA 92506

Phone: 951 274 0358 x103

Website: https://ilcac.org

 

_________________________

The Durable Medical Equipment Aid Society

 

The Durable Medical Equipment Aid Society supports individuals living in Los Angeles County who lack the financial resources or insurance, with loans of durable medical equipment for their rehabilitation, or recovery, from illness or injury.

The durable medical equipment loaned includes items such as –

 

  • standard or bariatric manual wheelchairs
  • standard or bariatric transport chairs
  • front wheel walkers and rollator (seated) walkers
  • standard and bariatric commodes
  • raised toilet seats and risers
  • wheelchair ramps
  • patient lifts ie Hoyer lift type
  • bath transfer benches
  • shower/bath chairs
  • shower or bath grab bars
  • single point and quad point canes
  • bed rails
  • toilet rails
  • crutches

You can contact them on the number below, or on their website.

Phone: 818 298 9893
Website: http://www.thedme.org

Ability Tools Device Lending and Demo Centers

 

A Device Lending and Demonstration Center program is run by Ability Tools across the whole of  California, using a dozen agencies.

The agencies are contracted to provide short term loans lasting up to 30 days.

The agency in Los Angeles is the Center for Applied Rehabilitation Technology

 

Center for Applied Rehabilitation Technology

7601 East Imperial Highway,

Downey, CA 90242

Phone: 562 401 6813

Website: https://dhs.lacounty.govrancho/

 

Independent medical equipment re-use programs in Los Angeles

 

Rolling Start, Inc. – Center for Independent Living

The Rolling Start Center for Independent Living receives AT funding for Hesperia and Apple Valley Residents.

The center provides a range of programs to “empower and educate” individuals in the community with disabilities.

One of the services is a Reuse Program, which conducts Assistive Technology Training and runs workshops and Group Presentations for the disabled members of the community.

The center also provides assistive technology devices to their consumers.

They offer devices which range from jar openers to wheelchairs.

 

Website : https://rollingstart.com/services-and-programs/

Rolling Start has two offices –

 

San Bernardino Office

1955 Hunts Lane #101

San Bernardino, CA 92408

Phone: 909 890 9516

 

Victorville Office

16519 Victor Street, #406

Victorville, CA 92395

Phone: 760 949 7626

 

_____________________

Free medical equipment from  Centers for Independent Living in Greater Los Angeles

 

Centers for Independent Living provide services to assist people with disabilities to live independently in the community.

If you are disabled, you should contact the Center for Independent Living in your area to find out all the services, and to get access to the equipment in their loan closet – most centers have a medical equipment loan closet for their consumers.

Below is a list of all the Centers for Independent Living in Greater Los Angeles and their contact details.

Los Angeles County
Communities Actively Living Independent and Free (CALIF)
634 South Spring Syreer, 2nd Floor,Los Angeles, CA 90014
213 627 0477
Santa Monica
Disability Community Resource Center
1527 4th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
310 394 9876
Mar Vista
Disability Community Resource Center
12901 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066
310 390 3611
Torrance
Disability Community Resource Center
1318 Cravens Ave, Torrance, CA 90501
310 390 3611
West Hollywood
Disability Community Resource Center
7362 Santa Monica Blvd, 1st Floor, West Hollywood, CA 95249
310 390 3611 x227
Long Beach
Disabled Resource Center
2750 East Spring Street, Suite 100, Long Beach, CA 90806
562 427 1000
Van Nuys
Independent Living Center of Southern California (ILCSC)
14354 Haynes Street, Van Nuys, CA 91401
818 785 6934
Lancaster
Independent Living Center of Southern California - Lancaster
606 East Ave K4, Lancaster, CA 93535
661 942 9726
Downey
Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living - Downey
7830 Quill Drive, Suite D, Downey, CA 90242
562 862 6531
Pasadena
Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living - Pasadena
2023 Lincoln Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103
626 587 5010
Arcadia
Southern CA Rehabilitation Services (Satellite)
11625 Clark St, Arcadia, CA 91006
626 239 6012
Claremont
Service Center for Independent Life (SCIL)
107 South Spring Street, Claremont, CA 91711
909 621 6722
Orange County
Anaheim
Dayle McIntosh Center (DMC)
501 North Brookhurst Street, Suite 102, Anaheim, CA 92801
714 621 3300
Laguna Hills
Dayle McIntosh Center South County
24031 El Toro Road, Suite 320, Laguna Hills, CA 92653
949 460 7784
Riverside County
Riverside
Community Access Center (CAC)
6848 Magnolia Ave, Suite 150, Riverside, CA 92506
951 274 0358
Desert Hot Springs
Community Access Center - Desert Hot Springs
14-201 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
760 568 9301
Palm Desert
Community Access Center - Palm Desert
74-390 Highway 111, Suite A, Palm Desrt, CA 92260
760 568 9301
San Bernardino County
San Bernardino
Rolling Start, Inc. (RSI)
1955 South Hunts Lane, Suite 101, San Bernardino, CA 92408
909 890 9516
Hesperia
Rolling Start, Inc. - Hesperia
15550 Main Street, Suite C12, Hesperia, CA 92345
760 949 7626
Ventura County
Ventura
Independent Living Resource Center - Ventura
702 County Square Drive, Suite 103, Ventura, CA 93003
805 650 5993

Free medical equipment loan closets in Los Angeles

 

The Camarillo Medical Supply Project

 

300 Mission Drive,

Camarillo, CA 93010

Phone: 805 491 1028

 

The Camarillo United Methodist Church, and has a free loan open to all members of the community and Ventura County.

Website: https://camarilloumc.org/medical-supply-project

The loan closet includes all types of durable medical equipment and home health supplies –

  • walkers
  • wheelchairs
  • knee scooters
  • rollators
  • crutches
  • canes
  • bedside commodes
  • shower chairs

 

_______________________

Helping Hands, Los Angeles Durable Medical Equipment Loan Closet

 

Website : https://www.helpinghandsla.org/how-we-help/care-coordination/medical-equipment/dme-loan-closet

Phone: 818 279 6580

Seniors can borrow used medical equipment from the community loan closet.

Examples of the type of equipment you will find in the loan closet are –

  • wheelchairs
  • power mobility equipment
  • crutches
  • canes walkers
  • beds
  • bathroom safety equipment

 

The loan closet serves the following counties – LA County, Orange County, Ventura County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and San Diego County.

There are no listings on the website, so to find a loan closet near you to borrow equipment, you will need to phone them.

“Depending on particular the loan closet, the equipment may be loaned out for a set period of time, for as long as the person needs it or, in some cases it may even be given away.”

The source of the text above is here –

https://www.helpinghandsla.org/how-we-help/care-coordination/medical-equipment/dme-loan-closet

 

______________________

Muscular Dystrophy Association

 

6167 Bristol PWKY Suite 325,

Culver City, CA 90230-6612

Phone: 310 390 6802

Website: https://www.mda.org/

The MDA agency in Culver City loans out wheelchairs, and helps with repairs, to individuals who have one of forty neuromuscular diseases.

 

______________________

Simi Valley Seventh-Day Adventist Church Community Services Center & Medical Loan Closet

 

1636 Sinaloa Road,

Simi Valley, CA 93065

For any questions, call – 805 433 2384

 

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/simivalleyadventistcommunityservices/

The loan closet carries items of used medical equipment, such as –

  • Rollators
  • wheelchairs
  • walkers
  • crutches
  • bedside commodes
  • raised toilet seats
  • power wheelchairs
  • patient lifts
  • hospital beds
  • knee braces
  • ankle braces
  • arm braces
  • wrist braces

It also carries medical supplies such as incontinence pads

It is only open on Wednesday mornings from 10 to 12 noon.

For any questions, call – 805 433 2384

 

______________________

Senior Centers in Greater Los Angeles

Senior Centers often have loan closets for their elderly members, and also sometimes for the community as well.

To see if a Senior Center near you has a loan closet, or maybe knows of one, all you have to do is make a phone call.

There are 180 “Multipurpose Senior Centers and Dining Centers” in the County and City of Los Angeles.

If you use the link below, you will find the locator tool, and the Senior Centers near you.

Here is the link – https://aging.lacity.org/

The image below is of the tool you are looking for.

 

Free medical equipment for veterans

 

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has many grants, programs and forms of financial assistance which are available to cover the cost of DME’s and also Home Care Supplies for veterans.

Veterans receive their healthcare under the VA Medical Benefits Package.

By law, the VA must provide hospital and outpatient care services, that are “needed”, to eligible veterans, “needed” meaning a care, or a service, which promotes, preserves or restores health.

Here are just some forms of assistance for veterans –

 

  • Tricare for life – a supplemental insurance policy which will cover the 20% coinsurance payment on DME with Medicare Part B
  • Tricare – this will cover most DME for use in the home, so long as it is prescribed by a doctor as “medically necessary” – basic models
  • Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services – these programs are intended to help veterans to stay living independently in their own homes, and if any durable medical equipment is prescribed by a doctor as “medically necessary”, it will be covered by the program. Veterans participating in these programs get to direct the way their budget is spent themselves, and they have somewhat more flexibility in choosing which particular models of equipment they buy
  • ChampVA for Life – this is for 65’s and over, who are family members of veterans who died in the line of duty, or were permanently disabled – it covers the beneficiary’s Medicare co-pays and deductibles

Veteran Centers in Greater Los Angeles

 

Here’s a list of Veterans Centers Clinic and Administrations in Greater Los Angeles, that you can contact if you have any questions.

 

VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System

11301 Wilshire Blvd,

Los Angeles, CA 90073

Phone: 310 478 3711

Website: https://www.losangeles.va.gov/ 

 

US Veterans Center

515 E 6th Street,

Los Angeles, CA 90021

Phone: 213 253 5188

 

Veterans Service Office

1816 S Figueroa Street,

Los Angeles, CA 90015

Phone: 213 744 4825

 

Downtown Los Angeles VA Clinic

351 E Temple Street,

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone: 213 253 2677

Free medical equipment online near me in Los Angeles

 

The internet makes it very easy to find home medical equipment for free in your area, using online platforms and apps.

But before we start, you need to be aware of a few things about using online listings, and picking up free items –

1) It is not a great idea to have anyone drop off an item at your home, especially if you are caring for an elderly, vulnerable person.

The best places to arrange to pick up items are coffee shops, a malls or public venues – you don’t know if the person has other motives.

2) Don’t go alone to pick up the free equipment, especially if you are at all vulnerable.

3) Spam can be a real problem on online listings which require your email, so get a new email just for use on sites like Craigslist, and you can avoid getting your main email full of spam emails.

4) Scammers – just be aware that there are people who offer items for free, in an attempt to pull you in, to sell you something.

You can find people offering free home medical equipment on –

 

  • Craigslist.com
  • Freecycle.org
  • UsedHME.com
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Nextdoor.com
  • OfferUp

Free medical equipment near me in Los Angeles, on Craigslist

Craigslist is basically a massive classified listing service.

You do not have to join, you just contact the person with the listing.

It is available on mobile and desktop devices.

It has a particular category for the listings for “free stuff”

I have written a quick illustrated guide on searching for free used home medical equipment on Craigslist.com here – “How To Get Free Medical Equipment Near Me On Craigslist ? A Quick Illustrated Guide”

 

Screenshot of Craigslist listings page

Screenshot example of a  Craigslist garage sale page

Free Medical Equipment near me in Los Angeles, on FreeCycle.org

 

Freecycle.org is a website where groups of individuals gift items of all kinds for free to other members in the groups- it is all over the world.

Basically, for free you join groups where you live, and you have access to all the items being gifted in those groups.

Members can also list requests of wanted items in their groups..

You can join as many groups as will approve you as a member, and put up as many “wanted” posts for the used medical equipment as you wish.

I have a quick illustrated article on how to find free used home medical equipment near you on Freecycle.org – “How To Get Free Medical Equipment Near Me On Freecycle.org ? A Quick Illustrated Guide”

Screenshot of Freecyle.org page

Free medical equipment, near me in Los Angeles, on usedHME.com

 

Used Home Medical Equipment is a website of listings.

Anyone can use the listings, and you do not need to be a member to use the service.

You can find offers of free equipment in your local area, and you can set the distance from your zip code that you want for the search, so you can increase your search area at any time.

There is a lot of equipment which is free.

You can read my quick illustrated guide on how to find free used home medical equipment on UsedHME.com here – “How To Get Free Medical Equipment Near Me On UsedHME.com ? A Quick Illustrated Guide”

 

Free medical equipment near me in Los Angeles, on Facebook

 

To start you need a Facebook account.

With a Facebook account, you can free items –

  • in buying and selling groups
  • on the Facebook Marketplace

Facebook has different tools, which allow you to make a local search for free items.

 

You have a quick illustrated guide on how to find free used home medical equipment on Facebook – “How To Get Free Medical Equipment Near Me On Facebook ? A Quick Illustrated Guide”

Screenshot of Facebook Marketplace page

Free medical equipment near me in Los Angeles, on Nextdoor.com

 

Nextdoor.com is a social media platform, just like Facebook, but the members are your neighbors, rather than friends and family – everything you are looking at on Nextdoor is in your neighborhood.

For mobile there is an app, and the website for desktop.

If you want to learn how to use it, you can find my illustrated guide, here – “How To Get Free Medical Equipment Near Me On Nextdoor.com ? A Quick Illustrated Guide”

Screenshot of Nextdoor.com “All Listings” page

Free medical equipment near me in Los Angeles, on OfferUp

 

OfferUp is a “mobile first” platform, with an app for mobile, where you can find free items which are being gifted – it is also available on desktop.

Sellers on OfferUp have ratings to show they are trustworthy, and not scammers, so pay attention to that – be wary of people offering items who have no profile photo etc.

OfferUp is free to join and use.

To set it up on mobile., you will need to download the app.

As with the other platforms, you have the tools only search in your local area.

There is a video on using OfferUp, which explains everything, so I have no need to write a guide this time. Just watch the video !

Getting free medical equipment with Medicaid in Los Angeles

 

Medi-Cal is the state Medicaid program in California.

Medi-Cal provides medical coverage to those with the lowest incomes.

For many the coverage is free, and for others it is low-cost health coverage.

The lead agency for Medi-Cal is the Department of Health Care Services – here.

If you qualify for Medi-Cal coverage, one of the  10 “essential health benefits”, for which you are covered, is physical and occupational therapy plus “devices” i.e. medical equipment.

Your equipment will be covered if  – 

  • it is medically necessary
  • it is prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner
  • it meets your medical needs

 

The durable medical equipment covered by the Medi-Cal program  includes wheelchairs, canes, crutches, grab bars, walkers, hospital beds oxygen therapy equipment and more. 

There is more about the equipment in “Obtaining Assistive Technology through Medi-Cal” here and also in “An Advocate’s guide to Medi-Cal Service”, January 2020, here.

Medi-Cal Programs for the elderly and the disabled

 

The Department of Health Care Services has a number of programs called Medi-Cal waivers providing home and community based services.

These waivers typically will cover the purchase of an even broader range of durable medical equipment if prescribed as “medically necessary” by the beneficiary’s medical provider, for free.

These waivers are primarily designed to help the participants to maintain their independence living in their own home, rather than in a nursing facility.

The programs all have a limited number of places, if a person is eligible they will be placed on a waiting list.

The Medi-Cal waivers that I am referring to are the following –

Home and Community-Based Alternatives Waiver – you can read more about that here.

Self-Determination Program – you can find out more about this here.

The Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) Waiver – you can read more about that here.

All three waivers will allow for the purchase of equipment and devices which will allow the program participant to continue living in their own home.

 

Sources on Medi-Cal –

Obtaining Assistive Technology Through Medi-Cal – https://www.disabilityrightsca.org/system/files/file-attachments/558301.pdf

Medi-Cal waivers – https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/Pages/Medi-CalWaivers.aspx

The California Department of Health Care Services – https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/

Can you get free durable medical equipment if you have Medicare Part B ?

 

Firstly, I realize that there is nothing free about Medicare.

Secondly, I have to make it clear that you cannot just go buy items, and expect Medicare Part B to cover them.

Note: Prior to any purchase of an item which you are hoping to have covered by Medicare Part B, you must make sure –

  • it is prescribed as “medically necessary” by a Medicare-enrolled Physician”, or treating provider (such as a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or clinical nurse specialist)”
  • certain DME may demand extra documentation of the medical necessity of the equipment. Source : https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11045-Medicare-Coverage-of-DME.PDF
  • the equipment must also be acquired (purchased or rented), through a Medicare-enrolled supplier to qualify for coverage
  • after obtaining the signed prescription from a Medicare-enrolled physician, you must use a medicare-approved equipment supplier to buy or rent your equipment

    If you do qualify for coverage, and have done everything according to the Medicare Part B guidelines, to get the lowest prices you still need to get your equipment from a Medicare-approved supplier, who is a “Participating Supplier” who accepts “Assignment”.

    The Participating Suppliers have agreed to only charge the Medicare-approved price of the equipment.

    In cases where Medicare Part B accepts to cover an item, you will pay 20 % of the Medicare-approved price, and any extra amount the supplier has added to that price.

    Now, I realize that if you have not already paid your annual deductible ($233.00 in 2022), you will have that to pay as well, so that on cheaper items it would be ridiculous to use Medicare Part B coverage to pay for those.

    On an item such as a hospital bed, or anything over $500.00, it may be worth trying to get coverage from Medicare Part B, even if you have to pay your annual deductible.

    Do remember that this is only viable if you use a Medicare-approved “Participating Supplier” who accepts “assignment”.

     

    Let’s do the math –

    $500.00 item (Medicare-approved price) – when you have to pay the annual deductible + your co-insurance of 20% of the Medicare-approved price.

    You pay Medicare = $233.00 annual deductible

    You pay the 20% co-insurance of the Medicare-approved price of $500.00 = $100.00

    The total you will pay = $233.00 + $100.00 = $333.00

    Your saving will be = $167.00

     

    Even in a case where an item costs $400.00, and in which you also have to pay  your annual deductible, you will save $87.00.

    And of course, once you have paid your annual deductible, on any further equipment which is approved for coverage by Medicare Part B in the same year, you do not have to pay a deductible again.

    If you have already paid your Medicare Part B annual deductible in the given year, then it is usually worth using Medicare Part B coverage (if you are enrolled), to pay for durable medical equipment, as Medicare will cover 80% of the cost of your item, and you will just cover the co-insurance.

    In that case the $500.00 bed, if approved by Medicare Part B will only cost you $100.00

    Finally, if you have Medicare Part B and a Medigap policy, or supplemental policy, which pays your 20% co-insurance payment, it gets much more interesting.

     

    What medical equipment does Medicare cover ?

     

    Medicare Part B covers durable medical equipment for use in the home.

    Medicare only covers equipment which is “medically necessary”, and typically will not cover items which it calls “comfort items”.

    Many items used for bathroom safety, such as raised toilet seats and grab bars, are unfortunately categorized as comfort items by Medicare Part B, and so are not covered by their policy.

    If you wish to see which durable medical equipment is typically covered by Medicare Part B, you can find my article “List Of Durable Medical Equipment Typically Covered By Medicare”, which is exhaustive and pretty much self-explanatory.

    Where to ask about free medical equipment in your neighborhood

     

    If nothing has helped you so far, you may want to inquire at some following locations in your neighborhood –

     

    • Your local Area Agency on Aging
    • Your local social services
    • Lions Clubs
    • Rotary Clubs
    • Local church communities

     

    Greater Los Angeles Area Agencies on Aging

     

    Area Agencies on Aging are contracted agencies responsible to provide public services and support, to elderly adults their carers.

    You can contact the agencies below and find if they know of any medical equipment loan closets in your neighborhood.

    Los Angeles City

    221 N. Figueroa Street, Ste 500

    Los Angeles, CA 90012-4390

    Phone: 213 482 7252

    Website: https://aging.lacity.org/

     

    County of Los Angeles Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services

    3175 West 6th Street,

    Los Angeles, CA 90020

    Phone: 213 738 4004

    Website: https://wdacs.lacounty.gov/

     

    County of Orange Office on Aging

    1300 South Grand Avenue,

    Building B, 2nd Floor,

    Santa Ana CA 92705-4434

    Phone: 714 480 6450

    Website: https://www.officeonaging.ocgov.com/

    Riverside County Office On Aging

    3610 Central Ave, 5th Floor

    Riverside, CA 92506

    Phone: 951 867 3800

    Website: https://www.rcaging.org/

     

    San Bernardino County Department of Aging and Adult Services

    686 East Mill Street, 2nd Floor

    San Bernardino, CA 92415

    Phone: 909 891 3900

    Website: http://hss.sbcounty.gov/daas/

     

    Ventura County Area Agency on Aging

    646 County Square Drive, Suite 100

    Ventura, CA 93003-9086

    Phone: 805 477 7300

    Website: https://www.vcaaa.org/

    Department of Social Services

    Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services

    The department has a section for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) for seniors and persons with disabilities, and although you may not qualify for that program, they may know of loan closets in your area.

    The program is on their website here.

     

    Lions Clubs

    The Lions run many charitable programs, and many run community loan closets for home medical equipment.

    You can find a club near you, and ask if they have a loan closet, or if they know of other clubs in your area who have one.

    I have an illustrated guide explaining how to very quickly find a Lions Club near you, which you can read here

    Rotary Clubs

    The Rotary organization, just like the Lions organization, does a huge amount of charity work, and runs many programs through its clubs.

    It’s a good idea to locate a club near you and ask if they know of clubs, or other organizations, in your area that have free loan closets for medical equipment.

    To do so, you can use their club locator tool.

    I have an illustrated guide on how to locate a Rotary Club near you, that you can read here – it’s a very quick and easy read.

    The Catholic Charities of Los Angeles

    In Greater Los Angeles, the Catholic Charities have quite a number of services and locations, and may well know of community medical equipment loan offices in your area.

    So, if you wish to contact them to find out about free medical equipment, you should go to their website to contact them.

    Here is the website page to go to – https://catholiccharitiesla.org/where-we-are/

     

    Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Los Angeles

     

    210 N. Avenue 21,

    Los Angeles, CA 90031

    Phone: 800 974 3571

    Website: https://svdpla.org/

     

    The society has chapters all over the US, with charitable programs helping individuals and low income families.

    If you have a chapter in your area, you can always approach them to ask if they know of any community used medical equipment loan closets.

    Lutheran Social Services – Los Angeles

     

    Lutheran Social Services in Los Angeles are part of the Lutheran Social Services of Southern California, which run programs to help families and individuals in need.

    The programs for Greater Los Angeles are listed below by county. You just pick your county and go to the website.

    You can contact them and to ask if they are aware of any community loan closets of durable medical equipment where you can borrow equipment for free.

    Central City Lutheran Mission – San Bernardino

    https://www.lsssc.org/location/cclm/

     

    Los Angeles County San Fernando Valley

    https://www.lsssc.org/location/san-fernando-valley-canoga-park/

     

    Los Angeles County San Gabriel Valley

    https://www.lsssc.org/location/san-gabriel-valley-pasadena/

     

    Los Angeles County Long Beach/South Bay

    https://www.lsssc.org/location/south-bay-long-beach/

     

    Orange County

    https://www.lsssc.org/location/orange-county/

     

    Riverside County

    https://www.lsssc.org/location/riverside-county/

     

    San Bernardino County

    https://www.lsssc.org/location/san-bernardino-county/

    The Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles

     

    The Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, coordinates and runs a number of programs and services, which you can see on their website – https://www.jfsla.org/our-services/aging/

    You can contact them and ask if there are any community loan closets in the area.

    Phone: 877 275 4537

     

    Address:

    Jewish Family Service of LA

    330 N. Fairfax Ave

    Los Angeles,

    CA 9oo36

    There are a number of centers in Los Angeles, which you can see on this page of their website – https://www.jfsla.org/locations/

    Your local church or faith groups

    You should be able to get lots of information about charitable programs and activities, from your local churches, and the communities that they build around them –

    • food banks
    • clothes loan closets
    • medical equipment loan closets

    Churches also have their own independent loan closets offering DME loans for free to the local community, and which may only be advertised in small bulletins put out by those churches.
     

    Where to get cheaper medical equipment in Los Angeles ?

     

    The following section outlines where to get “cheaper” DME,  and if you can’t find any free DME, this may be the only other option.

    The equipment won’t be new, but it will be cheaper than buying new equipment.

    Cheaper used medical equipment in Goodwill Stores in Los Angeles

     

    There are 164 Goodwill stores and donation locations in Los Angeles County, one per 24 sq miles.

    Not all have home medical equipment, so you may want to call the stores near you and ask if they have any durable medical equipment – or you can check their policy for donations on their website – these will always say what items they do and don’t accept.

    Goodwill Stores in Greater Los Angeles

    You can use the Goodwill Southern California Organization website locator to store in your area, which you will find here –

    https://www.goodwillsocal.org/shop/goodwill-locator/

    Cheaper used medical equipment in Los Angeles at Salvation Army stores

     

    The Salvation Army has over 100 stores in Los Angeles County alone, and although the stores don’t all sell used durable medical equipment, some do.

    Try their store locator to find some Salvation Army thrift stores near you, and give them a call to see if they have any equipment.

    The store locator is on the website page below –

    https://satruck.org/ThriftStore

    If you enter your zip code, both a map view, and list of stores in your area will load to your screen.

    Cheaper used medical equipment in thrift stores in Greater Los Angeles

     

    All the following thrift stores may have used medical equipment for sale – you are best advised to call in case they don’t have any items at the time you are looking.

    Los Angeles County

     

    American Veteran Thrift Store

    7830 Balboa Blvd,

    Van Nuys, CA 91406

    Phone: 818 912 5423

     

    You can find used DME such as –

    • walkers
    • shower chairs
    • crutches
    • safety frames

     

    _________________________

    Amvets Thrift Store

    Amvets Department of California Service Foundation has a thrift store in Long Beach.

    The stores sell medical equipment – on the store’s Facebook pages you can see for sale –

    • adjustable/hospital bed
    • bedside commode
    • rollators
    • walkers
    • patient lift

    Address:

    33315 E South St,

    Long Beach, CA 90805

    Phone: 562 272 7300

     

    Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/Teamamvetslongbeach/

     

    _________________________

     

    Assistance League Canoga Park Thrift Store

    22335 Sherman Way,

    Canoga Park, CA 91303

    Phone: 818 710 1888

     

    Website: https://www.assistanceleague.org/sfv/thrift-shop/ 

     

    _________________________

    Deseret Industries Thrift Stores

    2720 E 11th St

    Los Angeles, CA 90023

    Phone: 323 268 7281

     

    You can donate home medical equipment which is gently used.

     

    _________________________

     

    Society of St Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles Thrift Store

    210 N. Ave 21

    Los Angeles, CA 90031

    Phone: 323 224 6280

     

    Website: https://svdpla.org/

    You can find the usual basic durable medical equipment, such as canes crutches, walkers and bedside commodes. 

    _________________________

    Son Of A Vet Thrift Shop

    3310 N Eastern Ave

    Los Angeles, CA 90032

    Phone: 323 2271808

     

    You can find items like bedside commodes, crutches and walkers here.

     

    _________________________

     

    Super Thrift Store, North Hollywood

    13422 Saticoy Street,

    North Hollywood, CA 91605

    Phone: 818 474 1291

     

    _________________________

    Super Thrift Store Reseda

    18344. Sherman Way,

    Reseda, CA 91335

    Phone: 818 654 4806

     

    Website: https://sfvrescuemission.org/thrift/

     

    _________________________

     

    Orange County

     

    American Cancer Society Discovery Shop

    803 E Katella Ave,

    Orange, CA 92867

    Phone: 714 538 5605

     

    You can find gently items such as –

    • walkers
    • crutches
    • canes
    • rollators

     

    _________________________

    Arcos Thrift Store 

    138 E Taft Ave,

    Orange, CA 92865

    Phone: 714 618 8397

     

    This is a family owned business, but you can find used medical equipment such as –

    • wheelchairs
    • walkers
    • bedside commodes
    • crutches
    • rollators
    • patient lifts
    • shower chairs

     

    _________________________

    Assistance League of Newport-Mesa Thrift Shop

    2220 Fairview Road, # 3

    Costa Mesa, CA 92627

    Phone: 949 645 5536

     

    Website: https://www.assistanceleague.org/newport-mesa/thriftshop/

     

    _________________________

     

     Assistance League of Tustin

    445 El Camino Real,

    Tustin, CA 92780

    Phone: 714 544 2612

     

    The webpage for donating items is here https://www.altustin.org/?page_id=26

     

    _________________________

    Chucks Reserve the Thrift Store

    12946 Main St,

    Garden Grove, CA 92840

    Phone: 714 584 7438

     

    The thrift store sells DME including –

    • walkers
    • raised toilet seats
    • crutches
    • bedside commodes
    • grabbers

     

    _________________________

     

    Zion Thrift Shop

    1109 E Commonwealth Ave,

    Fullerton, CA 92831

    Phone: 714 879 1147

     

    Website: http://www.zionthrift.com/

     

    _________________________

    Riverside County

     

    Assistance League Riverside Thrift Store

    3707 Sunnyside Drive,

    Riverside, CA 92506

    Phone: 951 682 3445

     

    The Assistance League sells all kinds of gently used equipment , except for larger items such as hospital beds.

    Website: https://www.assistanceleague.org/riverside/thrift-shop/

     

    _________________________

     

    Deseret Industries Thrift Stores

    1197 Calimesa Blvd,

    Calimesa, CA 92320

    Phone: 909 795 0670

     

    You can find gently used home medical equipment.

     

    _________________________

    GHH Ministries Thrift Stores

    There are 4 GHH Ministries thrift stores in Riverside County sells items of used home medical equipment.

    The website page is here – http://www.ghhministries.com/

     

    _________________________

    Moreno Valley, GHH Thrift Store

    13958 Old 215 Frontage Road,

    Moreno Valley, CA 92553

    Phone: 951 653 2529

     

    _________________________

     

    Perris, GHH Thrift Store

    115 Ramona Expressway,

    Perris, CA 92571

    Phone: 951 443 3701

     

    _________________________

    Perris, GHH Thrift Store

    21366 Harvill Ave,

    Perris, CA 92570

    Phone: 951 291 8136

     

    _________________________

     

    Homeland, GHH Thrift Store

    31316 Highway 74,

    Homeland, CA 92548

    Phone: 951 657 3041

     

    _________________________

    Lyft Up Lives Nonprofit Thrift Store

    1390 W 6th Street, Suite 136

    Corona, CA 92882

    Phone: 951 454 3208

     

    The store has items of used medical equipment such as

    • crutches
    • canes
    • rollators
    • walkers

     

    _________________________

    Savers 

    3900 Tyler Street,

    Riverside, CA 92503

    Phone: 951 509 0817

    Savers has items of gently used DME.

     

    _________________________

     

    Semi and New Thrift

    12607 Perris Blvd,

    Moreno Valley, CA 92553

    Phone: 951 247 6633

    You can find items such as –

    • shower chairs
    • crutches
    • walkers

     

    _________________________

    San Bernardino County

     

    American Cancer Society Discovery Shop

    1534 Barton Rd,

    Redlands, CA 92373

    Phone: 909 307 8900

     

    You can find items such as –

    • walkers
    • crutches
    • canes
    • rollators

     

    _________________________

    Deseret Industries Thrift Stores

    16593 Valley Blvd,

    Fontana, CA 92335

    Phone: 909 854 3946

     

    You can find lightly used home medical equipment.

     

    _________________________

     

    Golden Oaks Thrift Shop

    31961 Hilltop Blvd,

    Running Springs, CA 92382

    Phone: 909 867 2112

     

    You can find items such as –

     

    • walkers
    • rollators
    • crutches
    • bedside commodes
    • shower chairs

     

    _________________________

    Mini Mega Thrift store

    2066 W Redlands Blvd, Unit A,

    Redlands, CA 92373

    Phone: 909 317 4266

     

    You can find items such as –

    • crutches
    • walkers
    • shower chairs

     

    _________________________

     

    UReach Thrift Store

    24871 Redlands Blvd,

    Loma Linda, CA 92354

    Phone: 909 796 4400

    Website: http://ureachlluc.com/ureach-thrift

     

    _________________________

    Ventura County

     

    Allsorts Thrift Shop

    2211 Ventura Blvd,

    Camarillo, CA 93010

    Phone: 805 460 8633

     

    You find equipment such as –

    • crutches
    • walkers
    • shower chairs

     

    _________________________

     

    Arc Foundation Thrift Store

    265 E Main Street,

    Ventura, CA 93001

    Phone: 805 485 6690

     

    Website: https://thearcvc.org/thrift-stores/

     

    _________________________

    Assistance League Conejo Valley Thrift Store

    2853 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.,

    Thousand Oaks, CA 90032

    Phone: 323 2271808

     

    The website says that the Assistance League will accept donations of all kinds of gently used equipment as long as it is clean.

    Website: https://www.assistanceleague.org/conejo-valley/donate/thrift-shop/

     

    _________________________

     

    CAAN – Thrift Store

    340 E Main St,

    Ventura, CA 93001

    Phone: 805 643 5956

     

    Website: http://www.caanthriftstore.com/

     

    _________________________

     

    CARL Boutique Thrift Store

    2750 E Main St, Ste b

    Ventura, CA 93003

    Phone: 805 677 9111

     

    Website: https://carldogs.org/about-us/c-a-r-l-boutique-thrift-store/

    The thrift store has walkers, canes and crutches.

     

    _________________________

    Mission Bargain Center

    125 South Harrison Ave,

    Oxnard CA 93030

    Phone: 805 201 4341

     

    _________________________

     

    Oxnard Super Thrift

    815 N Oxnard Blvd

    Oxnard, CA 93030

    Phone: 805 201 3750

     

    Website: https://www.erescuemission.org/thrift-stores/

     

    _________________________

    Simi Thrift

    1492 E Los Angeles Ave,

    Simi Valley, CA 93065

    Phone: 805 577 9959

     

    You find equipment such as –

    • transfer benches
    • walkers
    • crutches
    • rollators
    • bedside commodes

     

    _________________________

     

     Span Thrift Shop

    110 N Olive St B,

    Ventura, CA 93001

    Phone: 805 641 1170

     

    Website: https://www.spanonline.org/

     

    _________________________

    In conclusion

     

    There are many options here, and hopefully you will find something that will help you out.

    I know that of course Medicare is not free, but I included it just to say how much of a reduction you would get on the price of any durable medical equipment covered by Medicare, and if it was worth your while to do so.

    If you don’t qualify for free equipment through ability tools, or have a loan closet near you in, then I would start either the online platforms such as Freecycle.org, or a thrift store.

     

    Articles you may also like …

     

    The Ultimate Guide To Used Medical Equipment In California

     

    Where To Donate Used Medical Equipment in California ?

     

    Where To Donate Used Medical equipment in Los Angeles: The Complete Guide

     

    I’m Gareth and I’m the owner of Looking After Mom and Dad.com

    I have been a caregiver for over 10 yrs and share all my tips here.

    Gareth Williams

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