We have all heard the commercials on TV about the Mobility Scooters. The pitch person always swears that everything is covered by Medicare. Is it true? Yes, but what they don’t mention is that there are rules! Your doctor must prescribe the scooter and only your doctor! So don’t let the salesperson talk you into buying something on the spot. The scooter must be necessary for you to move around your home and not because you were thinking about a trip to the Grand Canyon. Your medical records must
- You must need for an electric scooter
- Your doctor must give you a prescription for the equipment.
Once you have the prescription you may go shopping. Don’t let anyone bill Medicare for your scooter until they have your prescription on file.
Medicare has a few more requirements:
- You cannot walk on your own.
- You have weakness in your upper body caused by injury or illness and cannot use a manual wheelchair because of upper body weakness.
- You would have to spend most of you time in bed or in chair without the scooter.
- You can safely get on and off the scooter, as well as sit on it and work the controls.
- You must need the scooter to help you move about independently.
- Medicare will not cover a scooter if the stated need is to prevent an injury.
- You must have Medicare Part B.
If you qualify for the scooter Medicare will let you rent or own the scooter. If your Senior Health plan covers your part B deductible you pay nothing. Medicare will make ten payments and then nine months after you have the scooter you will be given an opportunity to purchase the scooter. You will receive a “purchase option” letter from the supplier and you will have 30 days to reply. If you choose to own the scooter Medicare will make three more payments and the chair is yours. You will be responsible for scheduling maintenance for your scooter. Medicare will cover 80% of the maintenance and your Senior Health plan will cover the 20%. If you do not answer the letter or want to rent the chair Medicare will make a total of 15 payments. You may use the scooter as long as you need it, but the supplier owns the scooter and is responsible for maintaining it. You will be charged a maintenance and service fee every 6 months. Medicare will pay their 80% and your insurance plan will pay the 20%.
FYI if you have your Medicare coverage with a Medicare Advantage plan your plan will have its own rules for purchase. That’s why it’s always to YOUR advantage to purchase your Senior Health plan through a licensed insurance broker. Their services are free and you have a person to call for help or information when you need it.