My mother is 64, has COPD and no health insurance. Is there a way to get free or cheap oxygen tanks?

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My mother is 64, has COPD and no health insurance, but does use an indian healh care. They have approved her to have the oxygen in the home. They gave her 3 bottles and a regulator. She has used all her oxygen in the bottles. They charge for more bottles and she cannot afford it. She is stuck at home. I can not even get her to the dr. As soon as she taken off home oxygen it drops fast. Is there a way to get filled bottles cheap or free?

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Battgirl, I'm so sorry for your mother that she's experiencing this difficulty in getting oxygen.

I know little to nothing about health care through Native American systems, but I'm wondering about a lot of things. Is she supposed to use oxygen 24/7? If so, she should have a concentrator; it's a large machine that is typically used for someone who needs oxygen constantly.

Some of these concentrators have space for the smaller tanks on the top, so the tanks can be recharged directly through the concentrator.

Three bottles (or probably tanks) are portables, not concentrators. They're the kind that are used with regulators. They're typically used for travel, but definitely not for someone who needs oxygen 24/7.

Have you discussed this with her doctor's office? Is this doctor part of the Native American health care system? Can your mother get Medicaid, and has anyone raised this issue with her?

Are there social workers in this system who can help you?

If her SAT (oxygen saturation rate) drops quickly when she removes oxygen, what is she doing now that the tanks are exhausted?

I think a serious conversation with her pulmonary doctor should be the first thing you have tomorrow. She should know more what's available.

When your mother is 65 she can get Medicare and oxygen will be provided for free if her doctor scripts for it. There is a Medicare premium though, but it's nominal, compared to some private plans.

You might also contact the Native American system and learn the ins and outs of working with them, and ask them to help find ways your mother can get oxygen.

I wish I knew more about navigating other systems, but I don't, so I hope you can get some answers.
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