At least once a day I get the question: Does Medicare cover mobility scooters? The short answer is Yes! Medicare does cover mobility scooters. Of course, there are a few caveats to this. And a lot of rules. And a few hoops to jump through too. Here are my tips for getting Medicare to cover your mobility scooter.
Before putting yourself through the process of trying to get a scooter through your Medicare plan, ask yourself the following questions:
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you probably do not qualify under current Medicare guidelines. Here’s why.
Before Medicare will cover your scooter (or other wheelchairs for that matter), your doctor or another healthcare professional must state and certify that you can not perform your MRADL’s even with a cane, crutch, walker, or a manual chair. MRADL stands for Mobility Related Activities of Daily Living. These are the 5 critical activities that a person needs to be able to do to take care of themselves in their home: bathing, toileting, personal care, feeding, and dressing.
Your medical documents must specifically state this. No if's, and's, or but's. They must say in clear language something like “The patient requires a scooter to be able to get to the bathroom for toileting and the kitchen for feeding or they cannot perform these ADL’s”
To get your scooter covered by Medicare, the submitted documentation must indicate that you have limited mobility and meet the following conditions:
So, if you feel you meet all these conditions, here is what you need to do to get your scooter covered.
You must obtain the proper documentation from your doctor and other health professionals to prove your need for the scooter. The process should always start with your doctor, usually your family doctor.
The first step is to schedule an in-person appointment with your doctor. When you schedule this appointment, make sure the doctor’s office staff understands this is for a Medicare Face to Face mobility evaluation. Here is what needs to happen at this appointment:
As you can see, to satisfy Medicare guidelines, a thorough mobility evaluation is needed. To do a complete evaluation is probably going to take 30 minutes or more. The problem: many doctors aren’t able to spend that amount of time.
After this visit, your doctor will usually send your information to a local durable medical equipment supplier. The DME company will have someone help you complete the rest of the required paperwork. They will also measure your home to make sure a scooter will fit in your home and manuever properly in it. This is also a Medicare requirement.
Do you have any experience or advice to share about getting a mobility scooter? If so, leave them in the comments below. Also, questions are always welcome too!
I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.
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