How do I obtain home oxygen services?
There are two ways to obtain Home Oxygen Services:
1. Subsidy Program
You must meet specific eligibility criteria for the Home Oxygen Program in order to receive the subsidy. Your nurse, doctor or respiratory therapist can help you to understand these criteria.
Initially the Home Oxygen Program (HOP) will provide you with a minimum 30-day subsidy for an oxygen system. HOP will subsidize the following 3 systems:
- portable, or
- a combination of concentrator and portable.
HOP staff will help you choose the one that is right for you. Subsidies are given for 3, 6, or 12 months. Before the end of this initial subsidy period, you will be reassessed by a Medical Consultant from the HOP who will determine if the subsidy should continue or if further tests are required. This information will be forwarded to your doctor so that these tests can be done in a timely manner. If the Medical Consultant recommends stopping the oxygen subsidy, two (2) weeks advanced notification will usually be given to you, your doctor(s), and your supplier before the subsidy expires. Your doctor is encouraged to notify the HOP with any concerns before the subsidy expiry date to avoid any interruption of subsidy or service.
2. Billing Procedures
If you have Extended Health Benefits, the Home Oxygen Program will bill them first and then will pay the cost that is not covered by the Extended Benefits Plan. For example: If Pacific Blue Cross pays 80%, then the Home Oxygen Program will pay the other 20%. If you do not have third party coverage, then the Home Oxygen Plan will pay the full amount. BC Palliative Care Drug Program DOES NOT pay for home oxygen.
What can I do if I am not eligible for the Home Oxygen Program?
If you do not qualify for the Home Oxygen Program, you can buy or rent home oxygen therapy equipment if you have a prescription from your doctor.
A doctor must write a prescription for oxygen therapy. The prescription will provide:
- The amount of oxygen in liters you need per minute- referred to as liters per minute (LPM or L/M) and when you need to use oxygen.
- When you should use the oxygen. Some people need oxygen therapy only while exerting themselves physically, others while sleeping and still others need oxygen continuously.