Wheelchairs Covered By Medicare - Scooter Benefits

By: Meredith Miller
Published: Thursday, September 27 2018
Last Updated: 4 years ago

When looking over your Medicare coverage, the first thing you want to pay attention to is what your plan covers and what is available to you as a client. Many things are available to Medicare beneficiaries that they may not be aware of that were not explained by their physician or their insurance provider when they signed up.

Will Medicare Cover Wheelchairs And Scooters?

A Medicare patient may be qualified to receive Durable Medical Equipment (DME) such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters to help them with their mobility. Medicare Part B specifically covers motorized scooters and wheelchairs for their patients who have presented a need and who follow Medicare’s stringent requirements to receive Wheelchairs and scooters. What types of Motorized Medicare wheelchairs and Medicare scooters are available to me?

Coverage For Motorized And Power Wheelchairs

If you are in need of scooters or wheelchairs covered by Medicare, you have three options available to you.

  • The first option is a manual Medicare wheelchair, which is the most useful if you have the upper arm strength to push the wheelchair or someone with you who can.
  • Next up in line is the Motorized Medicare wheelchairs and scooter for patients who cannot use a cane, a walker, or operate a manual wheelchair.
  • Finally, there are the motorized medicare wheelchairs meant for patients who cannot use the manual wheelchair or control the power operated Medicare scooters.

All of the power operated wheelchairs and scooters require a face-to-face meeting with your doctor before approval and use. The doctor will go over your needs and your abilities and will determine whether or not you can power or operate the wheelchairs and Medicare scooters.

Does Medicare Pay for Transport Vans?

While Medicare will cover items that are necessary for your movement and mobility, it does not cover everything you would need or want at your home. For example, comfort items like stairway elevators, Medicare stair chair lifts, grab bars, and special tub and toilet items are not covered by Medicare. Transport vans are not explicitly covered by Medicare, but you may qualify for disability grants, health programs, and specialized auto loans to help cover your van.

What About Wheelchair Ramps And Repairs?

Home improvements, such as ramps and door widening, are not covered by Medicare. There are also certain incidentals such as incontinence pads and catheters that are not covered by Medicare. These items may be covered as part of an overall home health care arrangement like the wheelchairs covered by Medicare. As usual, you should consult your doctor and your Medicare coverage to determine what items are or not available to you. How do I qualify or a motorized scooter or wheelchair under Medicare?

Guidelines For Medicare Approved Wheelchairs

In order to receive a Medicare scooter or a motorized Medicare power wheelchair, you have to follow all of Medicare's requirements. You must have a doctor that submits a written order for your Medicare scooter or Medicare power wheelchair first. In order for that doctor to approve a Medicare wheelchair, you must have limited mobility, as well as have significant difficulty moving around at home. You must be unable to do basic daily tasks such as dress and use the bathroom.

How To Get Wheelchairs Through Medicare

Not only do you need to have a debilitating enough condition to use the wheelchairs covered by Medicare, but you must also be able to get in and out by yourself or have someone who can move you in and out of the wheelchair. Your home must also be equipped to use the Medicare wheelchair by having wide enough doors and entryways and hallways that the wheelchair can fit through. Both your doctor and the company supplying the wheelchair or scooter must be enrolled in Medicare.

You must also have 20% of the price to buy or rent the scooter and Medicare will cover the rest. For any of the other Medicare plans, you will need to contact the plan administrators to determine who your local scooter or Medicare power wheelchair suppliers are.

A good rule of thumb to follow is to ask yourself, “What does my body really need?” There are items that are meant for comfort, and there are items that are meant for survival. If your items are necessary for your survival and your day-to-day movement, then they will most likely be covered by Medicare.

Ramps and doors are more of a home insurance concern and are not considered in most Medicare insurance coverage. Wheelchairs covered by Medicare could be considered a survival need, as people need to move around to accomplish their daily tasks.