Does Medicare pay for wheelchairs and scooters?
Medicare Part B covers wheelchairs and scooters if you have a medical condition that requires you to get around your home. To ensure coverage, your doctor must …
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This story originally appeared on NerdWallet
Medicare Part B covers wheelchairs and scooters if you have a medical condition that requires you to get around your home. To ensure coverage, your doctor and mobility aid provider must provide orders and documentation that meet various Medicare requirements.
To get a wheelchair you have to meet several conditions
Your wheelchair or scooter is only insured if your doctor and equipment supplier are registered with Medicare.
Medicare will cover most of the cost of your wheelchair or scooter if all of these conditions are met:
Your doctor will submit a prescription for your medical needs for a wheelchair or scooter.
You have a state of health that makes it difficult to move around your home.
You cannot do everyday activities such as getting up and bathing with a walking stick or walker.
You can safely use a wheelchair or scooter alone, or you always have someone available to help you.
The floor plan of your home will accommodate a wheelchair.
Manual vs. electric wheelchair or scooter
If you have adequate torso strength or an assistant, you can qualify for a manual wheelchair.
If you can't use a manual wheelchair, you can secure an electric wheelchair or electric scooter. To qualify, you must have a personal exam with your doctor. If the doctor thinks you need an e-mobility device, they will give Medicare a recommendation for the wheelchair or scooter and confirm that you are able to use it.
What you pay for a wheelchair or scooter
You pay 20% of the Medicare approved mobility aid amount after paying your Part B Deductible, which is $ 203 in 2021. Medicare pays the rest.
When you have Medicare Advantage, you might pay less. Consult the plan to learn more about the cost and equipment suppliers you have authorized.
Depending on the type of equipment, you may need to rent, buy, or choose from.
Some devices require pre-approval
Some models of power wheelchairs require prior approval – that is, Medicare must pre-approve the purchase or rental. Your equipment supplier can tell you if you need prior approval and should provide Medicare with the necessary documents.
Medicare may refuse your prior authorization application if the agency believes you do not need a wheelchair or additional information is required. Ask your supplier to work with your doctor to revise and resubmit the application for approval.
John Rossheim writes for NerdWallet. Email: USexpansion@nerdwallet.com.
The article Does Medicare Pay for Wheelchairs and Scooters? originally appeared on NerdWallet.