Is there stair lifts Medicare coverage?

Leesid22 asked...

Does Medicare pay for stair lifts for a person who lives in a 2 story townhouse and cannot, by herself, go up and down the stairs? Is there stair lifts Medicare coverage?

Expert Answer

Medicare Part B covers different types of portable medical equipment and supplies for use in the home, but it does not pay for construction or installation of permanent equipment. So, Medicare Part B can cover the type of lift that is used to help a patient get in and out of bed or a chair, but is not likely to cover the type of lift that could carry you up and down stairs. However, you should investigate other kinds of equipment available from medical equipment suppliers that might make it easier for you to get up and down stairs. The official Medicare web site offers a list of approved equipment suppliers for your area. Get in touch with two or three of them and ask whether they might have some kind of Medicare-covered equipment that could help you.

You should also consider asking your doctor for a referral to an occupational therapist, whose work includes helping people with mobility difficulties. The occupational therapist can help you learn how to more easily and safely navigate the stairs, and can recommend equipment that might be useful to you.

For Medicare to cover it, any equipment must be prescribed by your doctor and be provided by a supplier officially approved by Medicare. To find out more about Medicare coverage of durable medical equipment, look at Medicare's publication Medicare Coverage of Durable Medical Equipment and Other Devices.