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Portable Oxygen Concentrator FAQs


Can I use a portable oxygen Concentrator on an airplane?

FAA finally responded to tremendous pressure to allow POC’s on commercial aircraft by the more than 1 million Americans who require supplemental oxygen on a daily basis. POC’s have been approved for on-board use because they don’t use compressed oxygen, which is classified as hazardous and not allowed on planes.

  • Portable Oxygen Concentrators approved by the FAA for in-flight use:
  • SeQual Eclipse Portable Oxygen Concentrator
  • AirSep Lifestyle
  • AirSep Freestyle
  • Respironics EverGo

Not all airlines allow permit POC’s onboard. Make sure to check with your carrier before you book your flight. Most airlines require that you contact them at least 48 hours before your flight departs to inform them you will be traveling with a POC.

Current airlines that allow POC’s on aircraft:

  • American Airlines
  • America West
  • Alaskan Airlines
  • Air France
  • Allegiant Airlines
  • ATA Airlines
  • Continental Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Lufthansa

The FAA ruling and the improved technology of portable oxygen concentrators makes airline travel not only possible for oxygen therapy patients, it makes it easy and without the stigma attached to bulky oxygen cylinders. Many POC’s, such as the Inogen One and SeQual Eclipse, are also battery operated. For further information on how to safely travel with portable oxygen concentrator batteries, please visit the Department of Transportation (DOT) website.

Can I use a portable oxygen concentrator in my car?

Yes, there are newly designed portable oxygen concentrators on the market like the SeQual Eclipse or Inogen One that are perfect for automobile travel. You can use rechargeable batteries or simply plug the unit into the car’s accessory outlet (lighter). The Eclipse or Inogen portable oxygen concentrators can be placed out of the way, behind the front seat, allowing you to travel freely. Learn more about portable oxygen concentrators used in cars.

Will Medicare or private insurance cover some or all of my oxygen concentrator costs?

If your physician has prescribed oxygen therapy and you are eligible for Part B coverage, Medicare will cover rental of oxygen equipment, or if you purchase equipment, Medicare will help pay for systems that furnish oxygen, oxygen storage containers, tubing and related supplies and oxygen contents. Medicare’s coverage policies vary slightly from region to region, but generally Medicare Part B provides benefits at 80% of allowable charges. The patient is responsible for the remaining 20%, either directly or through their private health insurance policy. Private insurance carriers vary even more. Call your insurance agent to clarify exactly what your policy pays towards home oxygen therapy. Click here to see more options for obtaining an oxygen concentrator.

Do I need a doctor’s prescription to receive oxygen therapy?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate oxygen concentrators and a prescription from a physician must be issued to receive oxygen therapy. Your physician will order a blood test to determine what your oxygen level is. The prescription will indicate the flow rate of how much oxygen you need per minute (liters per minute or LPM) and when you need to use oxygen. Many websites will allow you to fax your physician’s prescription for oxygen therapy.

What methods are used to supply home oxygen?

There are 3 types of systems available for the supply of oxygen: Compressed Gas – this is oxygen stored under pressure in a cylinder equipped with a regulator that controls the flow rate. Liquid Oxygen – is oxygen stored as extremely cold liquid in a vessel very much like a thermos. The liquid converts to gas upon release and you breathe it in the same as compressed gas. The third type of home oxygen system is the Oxygen Concentrator. An oxygen concentrator is an electrically powered device that separates oxygen from the room air, concentrates and delivers it at your prescribed rate. This system is less expensive than liquid oxygen and eliminates the need for re-supply of oxygen cylinders. Learn more about types of oxygen therapy

What are the benefits of oxygen therapy?

Numerous studies have shown that COPD patients who use supplemental oxygen live longer and have more active lives than individuals not receiving oxygen. Oxygen therapy is based on the premise that all human cells require sufficient levels of oxygen to function properly. Exercise is often easier for individuals receiving supplemental oxygen because more oxygen is getting to the muscles. Receiving oxygen also helps to reverse the long-term effects of oxygen deficiency on the heart. Oxygen therapy has also been known reduce sleep disruption while also improving concentration and memory levels.

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