6 Ways to Tell if Medicare Will Pay for Your Electric Wheelchair or Scooter
1) Performing Daily Activities Has Become Difficult
One major criteria Medicare uses to determine eligibility is your ability to complete ‘Mobility-Related Activities of Daily Living,’ or MRADLs. Some examples of MRADLS include your ability to get around the house, perform daily grooming activities, and cook. If a mobility product would help you accomplish any of these activities, Medicare will likely approve your application.
2) You Feel Unstable Walking or Standing
If walking or standing puts you at risk of falling or having an accident, Medicare will take your stability issues into serious consideration. Accident prevention is a priority for both Medicare and insurance providers, and they will want to know if you feel you’re at risk. Any medical history of instability related falls or injuries will also be taken into account.
3) You’re Unable to Operate Manual Mobility Aids
Before approving mobility scooters, Medicare checks to see if applicants would benefit from a manual mobility aids. Walkers, manual wheelchairs, and canes are all alternatives Medicare may want to explore before OKing an electric mobility device. Whether Medicare considers you a good candidate for electric mobility products will depend on your overall balance and physical strength.
4) You Have Certain Upper Body Strength and Range of Motion
While electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters are easy to use, they both still require a certain amount of strength and range of motion. Mobility scooters are somewhat more demanding than electric wheelchairs, particularly in regards to steering. As a result, Medicare does not require electric wheelchair users to demonstrate as much physical abiltiy. However, you will still need show you can manipulate a ‘joystick’ and drive your electric wheelchair safely.
5) You Have a Caregiver That Can Compensate for Limitations
If you do have less strength and coordination than Medicare might like, or if your vision is not as sharp as it once was, you may still be a good candidate for electric mobility assistance. In making this determination, Medicare will want to know if you have a regular caregiver that can help you overcome these obstacles. They’ll also want to see that an electric mobility device will help you and your caregiver accomplish your daily tasks and live a fuller life.
6) Your Home is Wheelchair Accessible or Can Become So
Having a home or apartment large enough to operate a mobility device in is considered important by Medicare. If you cannot navigate your house with an electric wheelchair, which is the smallest electric mobility device, you may be asked to make some changes to your home. Widening doorways or installing ramps are among the most commonly requested modifications.
Whatever your situation, don’t be discouraged if it looks like Medicare may not be right for you. Medicare is often far more flexible than it appears on paper, especially if you’re working with a large mobility retailer. Major electric wheelchair and mobility scooter companies often have entire departments dedicated to helping clients navigate Medicare. What’s more, these services are almost always free, so there’s nothing to lose from getting in touch. So before you start wading through piles of Medicare documents, consider calling your local retailer and asking for help!