Does Medicare Pay for Walkers?

Does Medicare cover walkers?

Yes, Medicare does cover walkers and other similar durable medical equipment (DME,) which is covered under Medicare Part B. You'll need to meet certain requirements, however.

Learn more about Medicare coverage for walkers and other mobility devices, as well as some of the costs you may expect to pay.

Woman using a walker outside

Medicare will pay for any walker that is supplied by a provider who participates in Medicare, provided you meet the qualifications for coverage (see below).

When does Medicare cover walkers?

In order for Medicare to cover your walker, three requirements must be met:

  • The walker must be considered medically necessary
    Medical equipment is considered to be medically necessary by Medicare if the items are “needed to diagnose or treat an illness, injury, condition, disease, or its symptoms.” This determination must be made by a qualified health care provider.

  • The walker must be prescribed by a doctor
    As with prescription medication, a walker must be prescribed to you by a doctor in order for it to qualify for coverage by Medicare.

  • The doctor and the walker supplier must accept Medicare assignment
    In order for a walker to be covered by Medicare, both the doctor writing the prescription and the supplier that is providing the walker must accept Medicare assignment.

Depending on the circumstances, you may be required to rent or buy the walker.

How often are walkers covered by Medicare?

If you qualify for Medicare coverage of your walker, Medicare will pay for the purchase or rental of your walker and will also pay to replace it anytime it is lost, stolen or damaged beyond repair in an accident or natural disaster.

Medicare will also pay for the repair or replacement of a walker if it is worn from everyday use and has been in your possession for the duration of its lifetime.  

How much does a walker cost with Medicare?

Even though Medicare provides coverage for walkers, you may still be responsible for some out-of-pocket costs.

  • First, you typically have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which provides medical insurance coverage for walkers, wheelchairs and some other assistive devices, such as lift chairs.

    In 2020, the standard Part B premium is $144.60 per month, but it can cost more for higher income earners.

  • You will then have to satisfy the annual Part B deductible ($198 in 2020) before your Medicare coverage of the walker will take effect.

If you have already met your Part B deductible, you will typically be responsible for 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for the cost of the walker.

What is the difference between a rollator and a walker?

A walker has four posts for legs and must be picked up and moved with each step. A rollator has wheels on the bottom of the legs and may be rolled along as the user walks. 

Does Medicare cover rollators?

Medicare will cover rollators as long as they're considered medically necessary, they're prescribed by a doctor and the doctor and supplier both accept Medicare assignment.

Rollators are considered to be durable medical equipment just like walkers.

Does Medicare cover UpWalkers?

The UpWalker is a walker that supports the upper body and allows the user to maintain proper posture.

The UpWalker is sold as a cash-pay product, and the supplier is not enrolled in Medicare. Therefore, Medicare will not cover the UpWalker.

Medicare Advantage plans can also cover walkers

Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) provide the same coverage for walkers as Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B). Many Medicare Advantage plans may also offer additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage and vision and dental benefits.

Learn more about Medicare Advantage plans that may be available in your area and compare plans to find the right fit for your needs by calling to speak with a licensed insurance agent today.

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