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Will Medicaid pay for an electric wheelchair?

2 answers | Last updated: Mar 20, 2015
Jaziefairy asked...

How can I help get an electric wheelchair for my dad who is on Medicaid? Is there some kind of program that I can apply to for him? Does Medicaid pay for electric wheelchairs?


Caring.com User - Joseph L.  Matthews
Caring.com Expert
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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Joseph L. Matthews answered...

Both Medicare and Medicaid can help pay for an electric wheelchair, with Medicaid paying the portion of the costs that Medicare doesn't. Medicare Part Bcan pay either to See also:
What Will Medicare Cover? Find out in the Medicare Information Finder
rent or buy a power wheelchair if prescribed by your father's doctor and if medically necessary for him to get around (not just going outside, but to get around the house, too). If Medicare helps him either to buy or rent the chair, Medicaid can pay the part (usually 20 percent) that Medicare doesn't pay. For an explanation of the rules regarding power wheelchairs, look at Medicare's publication Medicare Coverage of Durable Medical Equipment and Other Devices.

If Medicare approves your father's purchase or rental of a wheelchair, he must get it from a Medicare-approved medical equipment supplier. To find the Medicare-approved suppliers in the area where your father lives, go the durable equipment suppliers page on the Medicare web site.

When investigating wheelchairs with different suppliers, don't let your father sign an agreement with a supplier until he or his doctor has received written authorization for the chair directly from Medicare. You don't want him to get stuck with an expensive equipment contract that Medicare winds up refusing to pay for.


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jmac_atp answered...

Medicaid does pay for electric wheelchairs. Depending on what state he lives in will determine the criteria. Typically if he cannot walk more than 10 feet and is unable to self propel a wheelchair will determine his eligibility. My recommendation would be to contact a local ATP (assistive technology provider). This accreditation dictates that this type of supplier must adhere to certain ethics and must have passed a rigorous test verifying their knowledge. You can go to www.resna.org and choose "find certified AT Professionals". This type of professional is will not only help choose the best equipment for your father but is very aware of funding criteria.