How Do You Get Medicare to Pay for a Wheelchair?


Quick Answer

Medicare Part B covers wheelchair acquisition for patients whose doctors prescribe them for home use, according to Medicare.gov. Although Medicare pays 80 percent of the cost, the patient must pay 20 percent as a copayment. Supplementary Medigap policies sometimes help meet the costs of copayments, states WebMD.

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Full Answer

Everyone who has Medicare Part B coverage is covered for durable medical equipment, which includes wheelchairs, according to Medicare.gov. However, unlike Medicare Part A, which is free for most people, patients must opt into Part B and pay a monthly premium. The monthly rate for Medicare Part B coverage is $104.90, although those with higher than average incomes must pay a higher premium up to a maximum of $335.70, as of 2015, notes WebMD. Medicare pays its share of the cost of durable medical equipment only if the prescribing doctor is enrolled in Medicare and the supplier is a participating supplier that accepts assignment, as stated by Medicare.gov.

As of 2015, Medicare has instituted a competitive bidding program in some areas to help lower the costs of medical equipment, according to Medicare.gov. To participate in the program, suppliers must submit bids for low prices for items such as wheelchairs. The bidding helps eliminate fraud and abuse, and low prices are passed on to Medicare patients.

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