Did you know that there are currently about 2.7 million wheelchair users in the US? Under Medicare Part B, you can qualify for fully covered or partially covered Durable Medical Equipment (also known as DME). Durable Medical Equipment encompasses items like wheelchairs and scooters, but also includes oxygen equipment, blood testing strips, and crutches. Over 2.9 million Medicare beneficiaries rely on DME to live independently, so it’s more common than you might think!
There are a couple different types of wheelchairs, vehicles, and scooters you can qualify for under Medicare depending on your budget and circumstances. Here’s a breakdown of the different kinds of wheelchairs and scooters you can qualify for under Medicare Part B:
|Type of equipment||Pros||Cons|
|Manual wheelchair||Cheaper than a powered wheelchair, can be transported more easily, easiest to receive or qualify for as part of medical treatment||Requires upper body strength to or the help of another person to use|
|Power-operated scooter||Requires little to no physical strength to operate besides sitting upright and operating the controls, available to rent in certain circumstances||Can be heavy and difficult to transport, requires an electrical charge to function, can be more difficult to qualify for than other equipment, requires face-to-face exam with a written order to Medicare|
|Power-operated wheelchair||Easier to qualify for than a power-operated scooter, requires little to no strength to operate besides sitting upright and operating the controls||Can be heavy and difficult to transport, requires an electrical charge to function, requires face-to-face exam with a written order to Medicare|
To qualify for any durable medical equipment, your doctor must write an order for you stating that you have a medical need for that equipment for use in your home. There are some additional hoops to jump through in order to qualify, including:
- Living with a health condition that causes difficulty moving around in your residence
- Inability to do activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, getting in or out of a bed or chair (even with the help of a cane, crutch, or walker)
- Capability to safely operate the wheelchair or scooter, including getting on and off the wheelchair (or if you have someone else living with you who can help operate)
- The doctor treating your condition and the supplier of the equipment must BOTH accept Medicare
- Visitation from your doctor or the equipment supplier to verify that you can use the wheelchair or scooter in your home
If you have any questions about whether or not your coverage could qualify you for a scooter or wheelchair, please reach out to us! We are more than happy to provide you with a comprehensive insurance evaluation at NO cost to you.
A non-government entity. Not affiliated with or endorsed by any government agency. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.