Will Medicare Pay for a Narrow Wheelchair?

Medicare Part B may cover a portion of the cost of durable medical equipment (DME), such as a narrow wheelchair, when it is deemed medically necessary for the wheelchair user. Complex rehab narrow wheelchairs, including the Edge 3 Stretto™ narrow wheelchair, are usually needed by people who have significant physical disabilities due to birth disorders, injuries, and neuromuscular diseases. To prove that your narrow wheelchair is medically necessary, your medical provider must write a prescription for the power wheelchair.

Step 1. Schedule an Evaluation

Medicare requires an examination with your doctor or other treating clinician prior to writing a prescription for a power mobility device. Your clinician must first consider the use of a cane, walker, manual wheelchair, scooter, and a standard power chair before considering a complex rehab power wheelchair.

If your physician feels that your mobility needs must be resolved with a motorized wheelchair, this needs to be documented in your medical records. If the physician requests further examination to help determine the necessity of a complex power rehab equipment, they may set up an appointment with a physical therapist or occupational therapist to conduct further assessment.

Step 2. Find a DME Provider

Verify that the provider you have chosen to work with accepts Medicare before buying a narrow wheelchair. If you are unsure if your provider accepts Medicare, locate their contact information through our dealer locator and you can get in touch with them to confirm. Read more about how to use our dealer locator to find a provider near you who works with Medicare.

Have your clinician send the written prescription and your medical records to your authorized Quantum provider of choice. Once your provider receives the prescription and your medical records, they will work with you and your clinician to determine the best motorized wheelchair that meets your needs.

Step 3. Schedule a Home Assessment

Your provider will assess your home to ensure you have enough space to drive and maneuver a narrow wheelchair. If you have Traditional Medicare (also known as Original Medicare), the primary reason for a mobility aid is to enhance mobility within the home. A provider will consider your ability to perform activities of daily living, such as eating, grooming, bathing, and toileting, with the help of a narrow motorized wheelchair. The home assessment is vital to ensure your living environment can support the use of a power wheelchair.

Following a successful home assessment, your provider will order an electric wheelchair as prescribed by your clinician. The provider will deliver it to your home and instruct you how to use it.

More About Medicare Coverage

In addition to your narrow power wheelchair, Medicare Part B can also cover replacement batteries for your power chair if your current narrow wheelchair batteries are no longer working properly. Basically, if you qualify for the electric wheelchair, you also qualify for replacement batteries. Visit Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for further details or to ask them any questions regarding coverage under Part B.

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