Will Insurance Cover My Parent’s Wheelchair?

Once you’ve selected the best type of wheelchair for your loved one, it’s time to think about price. On Google shopping, the cost of a wheelchair ranges anywhere from $80 to $5,000. This range in cost has to do with the variety of wheelchairs available for purchase- manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs, and scooters. The more customized the chair becomes due to the particular disability, the more expensive it will be. However, in some cases insurance may cover the cost of the wheelchair.

Options for Assistance with Wheelchair Costs

Many insurance companies, including Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), will cover power-operated vehicles (scooters) and wheelchairs as durable medical equipment (DME) that the doctor prescribes for use in your home. Medicare pays to rent the chair for up to 13 months. For Medicare to pay for the equipment, you have to get it from a supplier that participates in Medicare. This does not typically include purchasing a wheelchair without a doctor’s direct recommendation.

Medicaid may also be an option depending on the type of equipment and purpose. It does cover DME that is provided as a part of Medicare-covered home health care. Also, if you are a Veteran, you may be able to obtain a wheelchair through the Veteran’s Administration.

You may also be able to use private insurance to cover your wheelchair. Carefully review your insurance policy and discuss with your provider to determine how that will work.

In addition to insurance, you could consider financing (if needed) through a bank or credit financer. Be careful which option you choose to keep any potential debts to a minimum.

Remember to check with your insurance company before purchasing a wheelchair. Depending on the cost of the chair, it may be more advantageous to pay out-of-pocket. Remember to review the chair in detail and don’t make your decision only on price. If price is a concern, explore all of the options outlined above before making your decision.


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