Medicare & Wheelchair Ramps
A wheelchair ramp is an addition to stairs that is meant to help wheelchair users access the buildings in an easier way. It can also be a portable device that is used to enter vehicles or other forms of transportation.
It also helps people pushing any wheeled object. Wheelchair ramps are very useful in making disabled people interact more and access more places.
Wheelchair ramps can be:
- Permanent – meant to be attached in place
- Semi-permanent – usually used for the short term
- Portable – they are meant to make transport easier
A certain width and slope are required for a ramp to be useful. Also, in some countries, wheelchair ramps are a must for every building.
Can Wheelchair Ramp Costs Be Covered by Medicare?
Sadly, the Medicare policy is very strict when it comes to covering the costs of equipment. It falls under their policy for Durable Medical Equipment. A ramp has to be medically necessary, and this can only be confirmed by a licensed physician. Thus, Medicare covering the costs for a wheelchair ramp is a rarity.
However, under Medicare Advantage, there are certain services that can support a client’s need for a wheelchair ramp. For this to happen, a physician has to write a statement that supports the fact that the ramp is necessary for the client’s safety. In these cases, coverage would be limited, and would only apply to the client’s external entrance to the house.
- Medicaid – It’s a program for disabled people or people with a bad financial situation. Medicaid benefits are offered in three ways: regular Medicaid, Home, and Community Based Services Waivers and nursing home benefits for long term care. Certain people have the benefits guaranteed. The policy says that costs should be covered only when wheelchair ramps are medically necessary. However, the cases where the states have provided wheelchair ramps for seniors are rare. They usually require a court challenge. In some states, Medicaid Waivers covers the costs because the ramp is considered a home modification.
- Assistance for Veterans – Like the Medicare supplemental insurance benefits program, Medicare Part B is adding the 20% co-payments that are not covered by Medicare. This is only possible if Medicare decides to pay for the service, which is quite rare. HISA (Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grants) is a possible help for veterans. Their disability needs to be related to their military service for this to be possible. This way, they can get a wheelchair ramp as it is a home modification that makes access to the house a lot easier.
Any time you have questions about what is covered under Medicare, you should contact BGA Insurance Group immediately for a Free plan review, especially during the annual enrollment period!