Does Medicare cover a wheelchair?

If you're new to Medicare health insurance coverage, you may be wondering does Medicare cover a wheelchair? The answer is yes, but there is still a lot you need to know about how Medicare covers wheelchairs and other medical equipment. Read more to find out the specifics.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
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UPDATED: Feb 23, 2022

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The Highlights

  • Medicare Part B covers medical equipment such as wheelchairs
  • To get your wheelchair covered by Medicare, you will need to follow certain guidelines
  • You need to make sure your wheelchair supplier also participates in Medicare or else you could pay a lot more for your medical equipment

Medical equipment is crucial to many people’s lives. If you have Medicare health insurance coverage and you need a wheelchair, you may ask, does Medicare cover a wheelchair?

Medicare Part B will cover wheelchairs, but you need to be sure your doctor and medical equipment supplier are also participating in the Medicare program, or you could face steep costs.

Let’s take a closer look at how Medicare covers medical equipment and the things you need to know to ensure any equipment you need is covered by your health insurance.

We have a free tool that allows you to compare rates in your area. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code above to see the most competitive rates. Even if you’re not looking to purchase health insurance, reading further may help you understand what is and what isn’t covered under Medicare.

Does Medicare cover scooters or wheelchairs?

If you’re a person looking for coverage on any sort of mobility aid, Medicare Part B coverage helps cover the costs of manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, and power scooters.

However, before Medicare will agree to pay for one of these items, you need to have a face-to-face meeting with your doctor and get a written prescription for the wheelchair. Medical equipment, like power wheelchairs, is only covered if they are medically necessary. So yes, Medicare coverage for wheelchairs and scooters does exist, as long as users meet certain conditions.

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What are the coverage requirements?

If you want to get certain types of power wheelchairs, you may have to get prior authorization from Medicare. They will have to review your needs and medical condition, your doctor’s prescription, and the power wheelchair that you want before they authorize any payments on the chair.

If your doctor prescribes one of the wheelchairs that require prior authorization by Medicare, you don’t have to do anything.

Your doctor and the medical equipment supplier will fill out the prior authorization forms and send any related forms and medical documents associated with your case to Medicare to review and approve.

In some cases, your request for a power wheelchair can be denied. If Medicare decides a power wheelchair is not medically necessary in your case, they will deny your request for a power wheelchair and not pay for it.

Also, if Medicare does not receive all the documents from your primary care provider that are necessary to make a decision on whether you need a power wheelchair, they will deny your claim.

The Bottom Line: Does Medicare cover wheelchairs?

When it comes to this type of equipment, the answer can seem vague, but that’s only because of all the existing variables. So, how often does Medicare cover a wheelchair? Under Medicare Part B, you will be responsible for 20% of all insurance costs after your deductible is met. Your annual out-of-pocket health care costs could vary.

The costs will vary based on whether you need to buy or rent the power wheelchair equipment. You may even be able to choose whether you buy or rent the medical equipment you are using.

These services can mean the world to someone looking for a power mobility device. Working with your health care provider and researching what is needed can help cut costs down as much as possible.

When you’re ready to start comparing Medicare insurance quotes in your area, enter your ZIP code below.


Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

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