Medicare and Electric Wheelchairs: What You and Your Family Need to Know

For those who monitor the interaction between the electric wheelchair sector and Medicare, the past few years have been very interesting. You probably had never heard of electric wheelchairs fifteen years ago. They have been there for longer than that, but until the past 10 to 12 years, they were not widely accessible.

But, this does not imply that the increase has been detrimental to Medicare. A 2005 independent research found that because Medicare recipients of electric wheelchairs typically have better general health and sustain fewer injuries, the electric wheelchair sector actually saves Medicare billions per year. According to the study, when users used electric wheelchairs, the rate of hip fractures was much reduced. The electric wheelchair business and Medicare have been at odds over the past three to five years on who should be eligible for this kind of medical equipment and how much Medicare should pay for individuals who obtain it. Medicare finally published what appears to be the updated guideline for electric wheelchair cost and eligibility last year. Here is a quick summary.

Medicare Eligibility for Electric Wheelchairs

A person must require an electric wheelchair for what is deemed a daily living activity within the home in order to be eligible to get one under Medicare. For persons who only require electric wheelchairs or scooters outside the home, Medicare does not currently cover them. Feeding, bathing, dressing, using the restroom and other daily life activities are included. What exactly does this mean? That means that for at least one of these activities, a person must require the chair in order to move about the house. Medicare will only deem a person eligible if they are unable to perform these certain daily living tasks independently or with the aid of a manual wheelchair, cane, walker, or other device.

What is the price of an electric wheelchair?

The cost of electric wheelchairs varies across the nation. Medicare normally covers 80% of the cost, no matter what the local allowed price is. If you have additional Medicare insurance, it can cover the remaining copayment. If not, you are accountable for the final 20% (often between $1,200 and higher).

How can I get a wheelchair that is powered?

To find out if you qualify for Medicare and meet the minimal standards, you must first ask your doctor. You should speak with a medical equipment supply firm if your doctor advises you need it. The supplier of medical equipment will provide you instructions to buy electric wheelchairs in case of injuries.

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