Are Home Mobility Aids Covered By Insurance?

Health & Medical Blog

Just because your healthcare provider has prescribed or recommended a home mobility aid, doesn't necessarily mean it's covered by insurance. Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to determine what your insurance plan covers when it comes to mobility aids.

Is the Mobility Aid Considered Durable Medical Equipment?

Sometimes mobility aids are also considered durable medical equipment (DME), which can determine if insurance or Medicare will cover it. Generally DME has the following characteristics:

  • It's durable and can withstand repeated use.
  • It is used for a medical reason.
  • There is no use for it if someone is not sick or receiving treatment.
  • It gets used primarily in the home.

If your home mobility aid contains these four characteristics, it will most likely be covered by most insurance plans including Medicare. Here are some examples of mobility aids that insurance plans typically cover: 

  • Manual and power wheelchairs
  • Orthotics and artificial limbs
  • Crutches, canes, and walkers

It is important to note that insurance will cover the mobility aid only if it is deemed medically necessary. If you would like to have the device or equipment for comfort purposes or to simply make it easier for you to get around, insurance probably won't cover it. Your medical provider may have to prove that you cannot function without it. Proving medical necessity is handled during the predetermination process, which generally gets taken care of by the mobility aid provider and the insurance company. If the authorization is denied, both you and your doctor will have the right to appeal it.

Are There Some Mobility Aids My Insurance Won't Cover?

While some mobility aids may seem to have all of the DME characteristics listed above, there are some things a commercial health plan does not cover that Medicare does. For these types of items, it is best to call your health insurance provider. Some items are covered as a rental. If you need the mobility aid for a prolonged period of time, it will normally be covered as a rent-to-purchase item. Here are some home mobility aids that may or may not be covered, depending on your plan:

  • Lift chairs and seat-lift mechanisms
  • Semi-electric hospital beds
  • Commode chairs
  • Shower chairs
  • Transfer benches
  • Standing and dressing aids

If your home or vehicle has to be modified with something like a wheelchair ramp, it is not usually covered by insurance nor by Medicare. If in doubt about whether or not a home mobility aid will be covered, contact your insurance provider. For more information about mobility aids, consider talking with a representative from Twin City Stair Lifts.


15 June 2015

Allergy Relief: You Have More Options Than You Think

As a child, I used to spend my days roaming through the woods. I climbed trees, smelled the flowers, and laid in the grass looking at the clouds. My love for nature continued through my teen years, but when I turned 23, I began to sneeze whenever I left my home. I could no longer enjoy my outdoor hikes and I started taking antihistamines so I could at least open my windows on warm days. My allergies got worse though and I met with an allergist who completed a variety of skin tests. I started receiving allergy shots and my allergist taught me about natural cleaning processes and sinus rinses. The injections and natural treatments improved my quality of life greatly. Even if you do not want to start allergy injections, you have a variety of options that can lessen your symptoms, and you should learn what these options are.