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Will Medicare cover a chair lift?

2 answers | Last updated: May 29, 2010
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An anonymous caregiver asked...
Will Medicare pay for a chair lift for the stairs if the person is unable to walk up and down them due to physical disabilities?
 

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Caring.com User - Joseph L.  Matthews
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A
Joseph L. Matthews is a Caring.com Expert, an attorney, and the author of Long-Term Care: How to Plan & Pay for It and...
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Medicare probably does not cover a chair lift that moves up and down stairs. Medicare Part Bcovers what's called durable medical equipment. This includes "patient lifts," which are mechanical See also:
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or hydraulic devices that help to safely lift a person out of or into a bed or chair. It's intended to avoid injuries to patients and caregivers alike. But a standard patient lift does not help a person move up and down stairs.

It might be a good idea for you to contact several Medicare equipment suppliers in your area to find out if any of them has equipment that assists with going up and down stairs, and if so whether Medicare Part B sometimes covers it. You can go on the Medicare web site www.medicare.gov to find participating medical equipment dealers near you. Or you can call Medicare toll-free at 1-800-633-4227.

If there is such equipment that Medicare Part B sometimes covers, the equipment must be prescribed by a doctor. Also, because it would be unusual and expensive equipment, you would probably need prior approval from Medicare, in what's called a "Certificate of Medical Necessity." Your doctor will fill out the necessary forms. If Medicare covers equipment, it generally pays 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for its rental or purchase.

 

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