Doctors and healthcare practitioners often recommend the use of rollator walkers and mobility scooters to patients with movement problems. In this article, we answer two critical questions that will help you save money if you are a patient needing mobility equipment. The questions we answer include Does Medicare cover rollator walkers? Does Medicare cover mobility scooters? Continue reading to find out more about the answers to these questions.
People who are enrolled in the original Medicare part A and B can benefit by having a certain percentage of the cost of their rollator walker covered if a doctor prescribes it. You only get the rollator walker through a medical equipment supplier enrolled in the Medicare program.
Part B of the original Medicare act covers walkers, and rollator walkers are one of the three types of walkers covered under the section. Rollator walkers are durable medical equipment and Medicare pays up to 80% of the cost after you meet your deductible. If you have not attained your deductible for that year, you will have to pay the deductible in addition to the 20% of the cost of the equipment.
You should keep in mind that Medicare only covers walkers obtained through suppliers that participate in the program. Purchasing the equipment through Medicare certified suppliers also ensures that you spend less because the suppliers have consented to Medicare prices. Failing to use a Medicare approved supplier could mean no limit to the cost you are likely to incur. Always double check to ensure that the supplier is Medicare certified.
Medicare introduced a new program called Competitive Bidding recently. This program assists in reconciling Medicare’s maximum charges with the actual cost of the equipment. People who live in regions that have implemented the program can benefit by obtaining their rollator walkers at a relatively lower cost.
Some people with Medicare coverage upgrade to the Medicare Advantage plan for extra benefits that are not available under the original cover. Private insurance companies offer most of the benefits provided by the Medicare Advantage plan. This means that if you have an advantage plan you may qualify for additional benefits not granted under Part A and B of the Medicare plan that covers walkers. However, there is an eligibility requirement before you are granted the additional benefits.
Some of the additional benefits granted to people who meet the eligibility requirement include routine dental or vision care, prescription drugs, ear examinations and wellness programs. The original Medicare does not provide these benefits to people with mobility issues. You should note that Medicare Advantage plan vary by state and insurance company. This means that some of the benefits offered under the advantage plan are not available in all states.
To know the exact cost of your rollator walker, talk to your healthcare provider. The specific amount you will be charged is dictated by many things, which include the extra insurance you have, the amount your doctor charges, and the type of facility among others.
Patients with movement problems enrolled in the original Medicare can have 80% of the price of their mobility scooter covered based on the provisions of Part A and Part B of the cover. However, you will have to meet your deductible as stipulated in Part B of the cover. In addition, you will have to meet specific eligibility requirements to qualify for the reimbursement.
If you have movement problems and lack upper body strength to use a manual wheelchair, then you qualify for a power scooter cover as stipulated in Part B of the Medicare cover. However, you will have to meet certain conditions, which include:
• A confirmation from the doctor that you have a medical condition interfering with your mobility, and you require a power scooter to move.
• Your movement difficulty affects your ability to engage in daily routines such as dressing, bathing and getting in and out of bed.
• You can safely get on the scooter and operate it, or you have an assistant at home to help you safely operate the scooter.
• Both the scooter supplier and your doctor are registered in the Medicare program.
If you meet all the above conditions, you will be required to pay 20% of the cost of the device in addition to the applicable deductible. You should note that Medicare does not cover scooters, used for moving around away from home, and those used for leisure. The scooter must be used indoors to perform the daily tasks of living. Power scooters are classified as durable medical equipment and in some counties; the scooters are subject to the Competitive Bidding program.
The Medicare Advantage program covers everything in the original cover with the exception of hospice cover that is still under part A. This means that the Medicare Advantage plan covers critical mobility devices like scooters if the patients meet the criteria mentioned above.
As noted earlier, most Medicare Advantage plans are provided by private insurance companies certified by Medicare. The private insurance companies can offer additional benefits to their members such as routine dental and vision care, and prescription drugs. In most cases, the private companies charge a low co-payment and deductibles, or waive them when a patient is purchasing durable medical equipment, for example scooters.
The benefits mentioned above are not available in all locations, and you should continue paying premiums stipulated in Part B of the Medicare cover in addition to any other charges. If you want to know more about mobility scooters and Medicare cover, talk to your healthcare provider or shoot Medicare a question from their official website or phone.