How to Get Insurance Coverage for a Motorized Wheelchair

1.

Check your health insurance policy to see if it covers durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs. Coverage varies from policy to policy. Medicare covers 80 percent of the cost of wheelchairs when deemed medically necessary. In most states, Medicaid also covers the cost of wheelchairs.

2.

Talk to your doctor about the type of wheelchair you need. Motorized wheelchairs cost more than manual wheelchairs, so insurance companies usually prefer to pay for manual chairs. To get insurance coverage for a motorized wheelchair, your doctor will probably need to provide something in writing that says you need a motorized chair instead of a manual one. Your doctor will probably need to explain why you need a motorized chair. For instance, if you lack the arm strength to push yourself in a manual wheelchair, a motorized wheelchair will probably be considered medically necessary for you.

3.

Ask your doctor to complete any paperwork required by your insurance company. Your insurance company may have a specific form your doctor must fill out or they may simply require a written prescription for a motorized wheelchair.

4.

Contact your health insurance company to find out which providers of medical equipment are authorized providers under your policy. Most insurance companies, including Medicare, will only cover wheelchairs if you get your chair from an authorized provider.

5.

Visit an authorized provider to pick out your motorized wheelchair. Most providers of medical equipment have consultants on staff that can help you pick out the best chair for your needs. Authorized providers of medical equipment will help you with any paperwork needed to get your insurance to pay for your chair.

Many people use wheelchairs to get around, including those with physical deformities, paralysis, amputations, and conditions like cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. Having the right wheelchair allows people to function as independently as possible. Wheelchairs can cost a lot, especially if you need a motorized wheelchair. Standard motorized chairs can cost well over $2,000, and if you need any kind of customization the cost goes up. Fortunately, health insurance often covers at least part of the cost.