Does Medicare cover stair lifts?
Does Medicare cover stair lifts?

most older people, about three-quarters want to age in place.but many also realize Their current home may not be perfectly set up to do this, especially if they live in a home with more than one floor. Stairs can be a huge safety concern, especially if there are balance or movement issues.

stair lift– a motorized chair attached to rails that allow you to slide up and down safely – seemed like the perfect solution. But, there’s a catch: They can cost thousands of dollars and aren’t covered by traditional health insurance.

That’s because Medicare classifies them as home modifications, rather than durable medical equipment (DME) such as walkers or wheelchairs, for which there is a fee Coverage by Part B. Under Part B, DME must be deemed “medically necessary” and prescribed by a Medicare-enrolled physician.Medicare also not pay For equipment it considers for “comfort or convenience”, such as bathroom grab bars, handrails or wheelchair ramps. Likewise, Medigap supplemental plans will not cover stairlifts because they only pay the remainder of what Medicare covers.

Some Medicare Advantage plans or long-term care insurance may cover all or part of the cost of installing and maintaining a stairlift, but this benefit varies by plan. However, if you or a loved one is considered dual eligible, meaning you receive both Medicare and Medicaid (a joint federal/state program for low-income individuals), the stairlift may be covered by: Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) exemption. Coverage varies from state to state, and you must meet the nursing threshold, which requires you to be “nursing home eligible,” without which you would have to live in an institutional setting.

pay out of pocket

If you do plan to install a stairlift, here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping around, says OptionsHME, a home medical equipment company in Heights, Illinois:

  • Is a stair lift right for you? Users must be able to get in and out of the vehicle with minimal assistance such as crutches. Otherwise, a wheelchair lift or elevator may better suit your needs.
  • Do you need a straight lift or a curved lift? Linear lift Best for single flight of stairs with no landing in between.Otherwise, you may need to curved elevatorwhich can be further customized to the profile of your home’s stairs, but at a much higher cost.
  • Do you want to buy new, second hand or rent? Most reputable medical device companies will offer a variety of options. Used goods can save thousands of dollars compared to new goods. If your situation is temporary, such as recovering from a serious fall or surgery, renting may be a better option.
  • How much does it cost to install?This is most likely an additional cost, and depending on complexity, may add Another $2,000 to the final bill. However, for safety (and possibly warranty) reasons, it’s wise to have a professional do the job.
  • What is the timeline and cost of maintenance? Most companies will offer a service contract to ensure your elevator continues to run safely and smoothly. Budget at least a few hundred dollars a year for this service.
  • What are the options for customization? Many stairlift manufacturers offer a variety of designs, shapes, and sizes, including models that fit narrow stairs in older homes.Seats, footrests, and even chair upholstery can be modified; depending on regulations, folding flat rails or units with greater weight capacity can be added Braun Capability, one of the leading mobile device manufacturers in the United States. However, be aware that the cost of a custom lift can add up quickly.
  • Do you have spare batteries? Most devices come with rechargeable batteries as a failsafe in case of power outages. Ask for a demonstration of how and when to activate.
  • What type of warranty is offered? Make sure you understand what’s covered, what’s not covered, and how long it’s covered.
  • Is financing available?Many well-known enterprises provide financing If you want to pay in installments, double check the terms and rates.

Additionally, AARP recommends that if you are a veteran, check out Veterans Affairs Programs Helps families settle in and see if you qualify for financial aid. While most grants are for service-related disabilities, VA Home Improvement and Structural Remodeling The (HISA) program also provides some funding to veterans for non-service related needs.

Also, check with your accountant or financial advisor about possible tax deductions for home improvements; stairlifts may qualify as Tax deductible as medical expenses.

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