Ordering Ostomy Supplies

Prescriptions

When you leave the hospital you should have prescriptions for supplies as suggested by your ostomy nurse, unless you were told that supplies would be decided on at a later outpatient visit. As your stoma settles into a more permanent shape after the first four to six weeks after surgery, you may need to use different ostomy supplies.

Insurance

Ostomy supplies are paid for under Medicare Part B and Medicaid. Most private insurance policies pay for them. You need to call your insurance company to find out about your coverage. Inform them that you are a new ostomy patient, and ask them if they have a "preferred provider" for ostomy supplies. Reimbursement at different vendors will often vary.

If your insurance does not require you to go to a particular vendor, contact your local pharmacy where you normally buy prescriptions, if that is your preference. Pharmacies can usually order most of the supplies you need if you have a prescription, or you may want to go to a local durable medical equipment provider.

If you don't have any insurance coverage for your ostomy supplies then the following options may help:

  • You may qualify for free supplies from one of the ostomy manufacturers (Convatec or Hollister). Contact your ostomy nurse for an application. Usually this application has to be filled out every three months.
  • Shop around! Make telephone calls and explain that you have no insurance coverage, and ask for a discount if possible.
  • OstoGroup External Icon is a nonprofit organization that provides FREE ostomy supplies to the uninsured for the cost of shipping and handling, or they can help you find products at a substantial discount.
  • Sometimes your ostomy nurse may have extra supplies on hand to tide you over until a permanent source can be found.

Mail Order Companies

Ostomy supplies can be ordered from a variety of mail order companies many of which can easily be found on the internet. They are able to deliver directly to your home with some offering free shipping. Furthermore, most will bill insurance companies for you, including Medicare.