Medicare covers power wheelchairs and scooters under certain conditions. Medicare Parts A and B will typically cover part or all of the costs if you meet the following qualifications:
- Have a written order or prescription from your doctor for a power wheelchair or mobility scooter
- Have a condition that restricts or prevents you from walking or substantially increases the risk of falling
- Need a power wheelchair or scooter for use in your home
- Have tried and failed to use crutches, canes, walkers, or manual wheelchairs
Even if these qualifications are met, it might be difficult to find a supplier that is a Medicare provider.
In addition to the order from your doctor, Medicare requires documentation showing that a power wheelchair or scooter is medically necessary based on certain qualifying conditions and limitations. The coverage determination and amount covered will depend on your particular needs and Medicare plan. Medicare Advantage plans by private insurers may offer additional coverage or have different requirements, so you should check with your specific plan for details.
Financial Assistance and Resources
Medicaid: If you qualify based on income, Medicaid can cover power wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Medicaid coverage and eligibility vary by state, so you should check with your local Medicaid office for details on coverage and application process.
Private Insurance: If you have additional private health insurance, check with your provider to see if and how much of the costs of a power wheelchair or mobility scooter would be covered. Some plans may fully cover medically necessary equipment, while others may have deductibles or copays.
Discounts and Low-Cost Options: If you do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid coverage, or if they do not cover the full costs, there are some resources that may be available to help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses:
- Veterans Affairs (VA): The VA offers mobility equipment for veterans and disabled members at low or no cost.
- Non-profit organizations in your local area may provide wheelchairs or scooters or help with purchase or repair costs.
- Some manufacturers and retailers offer discounts or financing options for those with limited means.
- Buying used equipment can save significantly versus new, but be sure to inspect it thoroughly and that any necessary repairs or maintenance has been performed.
In summary, while most mobility equipment companies do not themselves offer Medicare coverage or assistance, Medicare and other resources may help cover the costs of medically necessary power wheelchairs and scooters. Checking with Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance providers, as well as exploring discount programs and financing options, can help you access mobility equipment to meet your needs.