Medicare and Scooters
Scooters and wheelchairs can be prescribed for people having difficulty in moving around their homes even with the assistance of a walker or cane. This equipment can also be used to help people in activities of daily living.
People who may find themselves unable to use a manual wheelchair because of physical limitations can also avail of the benefits of this equipment. A scooter can also be used if this is deemed necessary to help with a special medical condition or injury.
Scooters and power wheelchairs are classified as durable medical equipment. To be considered eligible for Medicare coverage, a person must first consult with their primary care provider or doctor. If your doctor determines that a power wheelchair or scooter is medically necessary, they should sign a prescription or certificate. This should only be done after a face-to-face visit.
Medicare Part B covers scooters and powered wheelchairs under Durable Medical Equipment (DME). Coverage is available for U.S. citizens, permanent residents for at least 5 years and who are 65 years or older. However, patients must exhibit certain physical limitations to be qualified for Medicare.
A person must prove that they lack the upper body strength to use a manual wheelchair yet able to operate a scooter and it is controls safely. They must also be able to get in and out of the scooter safely or have another person for assistance.
Where can you get a Medicare Approved Scooter?
Scooters for medical purposes are readily available in many Durable Medical Equipment (DME) suppliers. But for these to be covered under Medicare, scooters must be purchased from a Medicare approved DME supplier.
The scooter purchase must be accepted by the DME supplier. These should also be prescribed by a Medicare enrolled doctor. If any of these two requirements are not met, Medicare won’t pay for scooter purchases.
Ask the DME supplier if they participate in the Medicare program. If they are, they must accept the assignment. DME suppliers who are enrolled in Medicare but are not “participating” have the option of refusing the assignment.
If they don’t accept the purchase, the supplier may charge higher than the price Medicare sets for the cost of a scooter.
How much does Medicare cover?
Medicare pays for Medicare approved amounts for scooter purchases made from a Medicare enrolled DME provider. The beneficiary then pays 20 percent of the Medicare approved amount and makes the Part B deductible. Medicare also offers the option of renting the equipment.
The amount you will pay is based on where you purchase the scooter. To get the maximum benefits, a Medicare approved DME must also accept the assignment costs. Medicare coverage is especially important for people planning to make scooter purchases.
With scooter prices estimated within the $750 to $2000 range, the option to make a 20 percent payment can go a long way in helping you save for other important purchases such as medications.
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