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Topic: Cost of glove and chest compression garments

Forum: Lymphedema —

Talk with other about how to lower your risk of lymphedema and how to manage it if you've been diagnosed.

Posted on: Oct 20, 2021 09:28PM

Irishlove wrote:

Hi folks. I've been trying to deal with lymphaedema 2 1/2 years now. It never cleared after surgery and I saw a lymp specialist initially got 3 visits after surgery. Long story short, we moved 600 miles away and changed insurance and I have had no treatment. I put this on the back burner for awhile due to covid and MS situation.

I started with a lymp specialist on Monday and have an appt. tomorrow. She was wonderful teaching me how to massage the areas (both under my arm and truncal). She measured me for a glove and compression garment for the truncal area. And now for the problem, she said Humana will not pay for either product and that they are quite expensive. I called Humana and they gave me a 20% copay answer, but as usual nothing in writing. The specialist said in all her years of dealing with the Humana HMO program, they have never paid any monies. So my question(s) does anyone have experience with Humana HMO and do you know the cost of these items before I decide to order them? I can get by with a sports bra but it's not perfect and of course I need the sleeve with no options that I'm aware of.


Surgery 2/27/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx 3/14/2019, DCIS/IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/7/2019 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Oct 21, 2021 09:46AM ThreeTree wrote:

Hi Irishlove - I'm sorry I can't help with Humana, as I know nothing about them, but I can say I think the cost of the garments is questionably high no matter who pays for them. I can't help but wonder if the makers of these things aren't taking advantage of cancer patients and sometimes insurance companies. I can by a pair of compression socks for $25 dollars, but one of these sleeves costs $75-100 out of pocket if I remember. I can't see any difference between an arm sleeve and a sock. My insurance (Premara/Blue Cross) did cover a good part of the cost, but I did have a co-pay. I think my total bill for two sets of sleeves and gloves (2 pair of each) came to close to $500. I paid about $100 of that out of pocket. I honestly don't know why even the insurance companies should have to pay that much, given again that you can get compression socks for much less and it's about the same thing, just a different limb. Medicare does not cover compression garments at all, so I was glad to have the work insurance in addition to my Medicare. I really hope you find a solution - having to pay for all of what you will seem to be needing out of pocket just doesn't seem to be right.

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Oct 21, 2021 10:39AM SpecialK wrote:

I have gotten numerous sets of sleeves/gauntlets, paid for insurance - fortunately my policy covers them in addition to decongestive therapy and a pump - and all from the same source. When I encountered some complications with their process of billing insurance this last time I did look at online sources for the same products and they were less expensive. The sleeves were $60 each and gauntlets were $25. These are the exact same level of compression and size of the ones I have previously received. I am now on Medicare so I don't know if my supplement (which was previously my regular coverage, it converts when I enrolled in Medicare) will pick up the cost since Medicare doesn't currently cover garments. I did get bi-lateral sets just before Medicare kicked in so I am good for a while. I will say that initially the provider of my garments did indicate that my insurance did not cover the purchase, but I did some research and supplied a HCPC code that they used, and things were covered from then on. This is a military insurance policy administrated by Humana.

Here is a link that shows the sleeves, and they also have gloves and gauntlets:

There are other members here that use this company for shirts and bras:

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 16 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 2013-2018. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Oct 22, 2021 10:22PM Irishlove wrote:

Hi folks and thank you for responding. I do have a website that the therapist gave me, along with the size of the sleeve I need (I had said glove but it is a sleeve). I think I'll stick with a sports bra and the compression insert she recommended. I found a front zipper bra at Ross dept. store. It's much easier with that zipper, especially with MS also affecting my arm strength somewhat.

Surgery 2/27/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx 3/14/2019, DCIS/IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/7/2019 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right

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