Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does cover wheelchairs and walkers, though there are certain restrictions and guidelines you should know about.
These items are categorized as “durable medical equipment” (DME) and are covered by Medicare Part B.
Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans also cover wheelchairs, walkers and other durable medical equipment. Some Medicare Advantage plans also cover home modifications like wheelchair ramps and bathroom grab bars.
Join our email series to receive your free Medicare guide and the latest information about Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
By clicking "Sign me up!” you are agreeing to receive emails from MedicareAdvantage.com.
Speak with a licensed insurance agent
Medicare covers durable medical equipment if it is reusable – such as wheelchairs and walkers – and if your doctor prescribes it as medically necessary for use in your home.
In order for Medicare to pay for your wheelchair or walker, it must meet the following requirements:
Durable medical equipment is covered under Medicare Part B medical insurance.
The Medicare-approved amount is the amount that Medicare has declared it will pay the supplier in exchange for the item. The 20 percent share that you are responsible for is your Medicare Part B coinsurance.
Each supplier of durable medical equipment falls into one of three categories:
You must meet your Part B deductible before Medicare will pay for your wheelchair or walker. In 2019, the annual Part B deductible is $185.
Medicare Part B also requires a monthly premium of $135.50 in 2019 (although higher-income earners may have to pay more).
The Part B deductible, coinsurance and excess charges may be covered by certain Medicare Supplement Insurance plans.
Wheelchairs and walkers are not the only items designed to help with mobility that are covered by Medicare. Similar items that may qualify as durable medical equipment and can be covered by Medicare include:
While wheelchair ramps are not covered by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), they may be covered by certain Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C).
A Medicare Advantage plans provides all the same basic benefits as Original Medicare, which means that Medicare Advantage plans cover wheelchairs and walkers the same way that Original Medicare does.
Most Medicare Advantage plans also offer additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare. Starting in 2019, a set of additional benefits approved for coverage by Medicare Advantage plans may include a number of “aging in place” items, such as home wheelchair ramps and bathroom grab bars. Check plan benefits to see if these services or items may be covered.
To learn more about Medicare Advantage plans and to compare plans in your area, call to speak with a licensed insurance agent today.
Find Medicare Advantage plans that cover wheelchairs and walkersCompare plans now
Or call TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!
Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with MedicareAdvantage.com. He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.
Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.
Christian has written hundreds of articles for MedicareAvantage.com that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.
Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.
A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at Mike@tzhealthmedia.com.