Both Medicare and Medicaid can pay for a wheelchair or scooter. If you are enrolled in both programs and eligible for coverage of a wheelchair or scooter, Medicaid will pay
the portion of the costs that Medicare doesn't.
Medicare Part Bcan pay either to rent or buy a wheelchair or scooter if your doctor prescribes it and if it's medically necessary for you to get around (which means necessary to get around the house, not just for going outside). If Medicare covers your rental or purchase of a chair or scooter, Medicaid can pay the part (usually 20 percent) that Medicare doesn't pay. For an explanation of Medicare's rules regarding wheelchairs and scooters, look at Medicare's publication Medicare Coverage of Durable Medical Equipment and Other Devices. To see about your state Medicaid program's rules concerning wheelchair and scooter coverage, go to any Internet search engine and type in the word Medicaid and the name of your state, which will take you to the home page of your state's Medicaid program. Or, call the Eldercare Locator toll free at 800-677-1116 and ask them to give you contact information for your state's Medicaid program.
If Medicare and Medicaid approve your rental or purchase of a wheelchair or scooter, you must get it from a Medicare-certified and Medicaid-participating medical equipment supplier. To find the Medicare-certified suppliers in the area where you live, go the durable equipment suppliers page on the Medicare web site. When investigating wheelchairs and scooters with different suppliers, don't sign any agreement for the equipment until the supplier provides you with written documentation showing that the supplier participates in both Medicare and Medicaid.Also, do not sign a contract for the equipment until you or your doctor has received written authorization for it directly from both Medicare and Medicaid. You don't want to get stuck with an expensive equipment contract that Medicare or Medicaid winds up refusing to pay for.