Does Medicare cover wheelchairs and transport chairs?

9 answers | Last updated: Apr 17, 2018
A fellow caregiver asked...

Does Medicare cover wheelchairs, and other transportation equipment like transport chairs?

Expert Answers

Medicare Part B covers what is called durable medical equipment, which includes wheelchairs and walkers, if prescribed by a doctor. For wheelchairs, Medicare pays to rent the chair for up to 13 months. By that time, you will own the wheelchair outright, but Medicare will continue to pay for the chair's maintenance and repair. For Medicare to pay for the equipment, you have to get it from a supplier that participates in Medicare. You pay a coinsurance amount for the equipment. And if you haven't yet met the yearly Part B deductible of $135, you must do so. You can go on the Medicare web site to find participating medical equipment dealers near you. Or you can call Medicare toll-free at 1-800-633-4227.

Medicare also covers durable medical equipment that is provided as part of Medicare-covered home health care. In that case, you don't have to make the arrangements yourself -- the home care agency will provide you with the equipment. Although there is no coinsurance amount for the home health care itself, there is a copayment for equipment they provide.

Medicare does not cover equipment which modifies a car or van to accommodate a wheelchair. However, you may be able to find help with the cost of such equipment through a local agency, which you could get help locating by going to the free government-sponsored service called the Eldercare Locator, either at their web site or by calling them at 1-800-677-1116.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

My aunt, age 90 today has had three broken bones and had to be in a nursing home until the care and therapy allowed her to go the her own appartment. She must walk with a walker. When we take her anywhere, we must get a wheelchair because she is to weak to walk any distance with her walker. We were wandering if medicare would over the cost of a transport chair. Could you reply? Thanks

Trowe answered...

medicare and co insurance will pay for a regular wheel chair, but not what is called a transport wheel chair,

A fellow caregiver answered...

Medicare will cover the cost for a transport chair (HCPCS Code or Medicare code "E1038").

Mcarmona1707 answered...

Medicare will pay for a Transport as long as the patient can not self propel them self in an regular wheelchair. The Doctor has to document this in a face to face consult with patient.

Sergio fernando answered...

When it comes to getting a wheelchair through medicare, be prepared to jump through flaming hoops before you get any type of coverage (especially if it's an electric wheelchair or power wheelchair).

I tried getting a wheelchair through a company that claimed to accept Medicare only to find out my options were extremely limited and what I wanted to buy couldn't be covered because it was considered a luxury product.

I then found a company and they were able to inform me on how insurance works when it comes to buying mobility scooters or power wheelchairs. They explained that if I wanted to get the high end wheelchairs that are electrical powered, I would not be able to use insurance. They offered me financing at a fair rate and were a pleasure to work with.

I hope this has been informative and helpful!

Wheelchairindia answered...

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Oldman21 answered...

I also tried getting a wheelchair through a company that claimed to accept Medicare only to find out they didn't know what they were doing.

I then found a company in Baltimore Maryland and they were able to guide me on how medicare insurance works when it comes to buying mobility scooters or power wheelchairs. They were a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them.

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