Does Medicare pay for lift chairs?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Will Medicare pay for a lift chair that reclines?

Expert Answer

Medicare Part B covers what's called durable medical equipment, which includes "patient lifts." These are not chairs themselves but mechanical or hydraulic devices that help to safely lift a person out of or into a bed or chair. They not only make it easier get in and out of bed or chair but also help avoid injuries to patients and caregivers.

For Medicare to cover the lift, a doctor must prescribe it. And you have to get prior approval from Medicare (what's called a "Certificate of Medical Necessity"). The office of the doctor who prescribes the lift can fill out the necessary forms. If Medicare agrees to cover the lift, Medicare Part B will pay 80 percent of the amount it approves for it. You pay a coinsurance amount of 20 percent.

In order for Medicare to cover the lift, you must get it from a supplier that participates in Medicare. 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.