Will Medicaid pay for an electric wheelchair?

5 answers | Last updated: Oct 12, 2017
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?

Expert Answers

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 B can pay either to 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.

Community Answers

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.

Lusha answered...

While Medicaid and Medicare are two very different entities, (though they tend to get lumped together as if they were the same thing,...) Yes, medicaid will pay for an electric chair for your father. However, you may look into getting your father onto medicare (But look at what benefits he would be getting very closely before making the switch.) Most of the time it is physicians choice as to where and how much the chair will cost. It can also take a while to get a chair from medicaid, but providers like hoveround are a good resource through medicare as they do not accept medicaid. Your best bet however, would be to call medicaid, let them know about the situation, or go to your counties human services building and request assistance or information. Get very detailed print outs from your fathers doc's as it will help the process of getting said chair. If all else fails, you could also set up a gofundme or something like that to help raise the cash to get a chair from craigslist or amazon or something.

Oldman21 answered...

If you need help getting Medicare or Medicaid to pay for a wheelchair you have to call Kim at https://www.towsonmedicalequipment.com in Baltimore Maryland. She Knows Everything! 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.

Sleepygirl answered...

There are some very specific medical criteria you need to know in order to qualify.

Most doctors are not aware of exactly what needs to be written into the chart and this is why many Medicaid and Medicare requests for wheelchairs and scooters are turned down.

Please print out the criteria yourself and bring it to your doctor so your doctor can write the order properly. Or find a medical supply store that accepts Medicaid or Medicare assignment and they can contact your doctor with the information.

Warning: DO NOT PAY OR SIGN A CONTRACT AND EXPECT TO BE REIMBURSED. Many medical supply companies give you the impression you will get reimbursed, but this rarely happens.

Complete info on how to find a medical supply company, plus all the medical criteria is on this page: