Are electric wheelchairs and scooters covered by Medicare?
Medicare will help pay for an electric wheelchair or power scooter only if it is medically necessary based on Medicare's requirements. For Medicare to cover an electric wheelchair or power scooter, your loved one's doctor must state that your loved one needs it (via a written prescription) because of his or her medical condition. Medicare will not cover an electric wheelchair or scooter if they only need it for their convenience, or for leisure or recreational activities.
In most cases, Medicare will cover an electric wheelchair if:
Your loved one can't walk on their own.
Your loved one has severe weakness in their upper body caused by a brain, spinal, or muscle condition.
Your loved one's upper body weakness prevents them from using a manual wheelchair.
Your loved one spends most of their time in bed or in a chair when they are not in their wheelchair.
Your loved one is able to work the controls of an electric wheelchair or scooter.
Medicare will cover a scooter if:
Your loved one has a condition that makes him or her unable to move around their house without the use of a wheelchair.
Your loved one is unable to operate a manual wheelchair.
Your loved one can safely get in and out of a scooter.
Your loved one's Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carrier can tell them if they are eligible for an electric wheelchair or scooter. Go to Medicare's Web site; then in the Search Tools section, click on Find Helpful Phone Numbers and Websites. On the next page, click in the box in front of DMERC -- Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carrier and press the Continue button. Select your loved one's State and click on the View Results button at the bottom. The resulting page will contain the phone number for the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carrier in your loved one's State.
If your loved one is eligible, they will then need a written prescription from their doctor for the power wheelchair or scooter.
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