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How to Get a Mobility Scooter Covered by Medicare

ScooterLet’s face it—the older we get the harder it becomes to move around. If you’re a senior and you suffer from mobility issues you may qualify for a scooter if you meet the right requirements.

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

For those who are 65 years or older and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident for at least five consecutive years, you may qualify for Medicare Part B, which covers medical services and supplies necessary to treat your medical condition. This includes durable medical equipment (DME) such as power-operated scooters and manual wheelchairs. According to medicare.gov you’re automatically eligible for a motorized scooter if you’re covered by part B.

Keep these facts in mind as you take steps to acquire a mobility scooter:

  • Mobility scooters are only covered by your medical insurance when medically necessary.
  • Before Medicare considers paying for your scooter, you must have a face-to-face appointment and a written prescription from a doctor.

Purchasing your scooter

If you don’t meet the requirements to qualify for Medicare Part B and you need to pay out of pocket, you can still purchase a mobility scooter conveniently online. E-commerce sites such as Parentgiving.com offer a massive selection of mobility scooters at reasonable prices. Electric mobility scooters are available in three types; Travel Mobility Scooters, 3 Wheel Mobility Scooters and 4 Wheel Mobility scooters.

On the other hand, if you do qualify for Part B, you need to purchase a scooter from a qualified DME supplier that accepts the assignment cost from the federal government. Both your DME supplier and your doctor must be enrolled in Medicare for you to qualify for a fully covered scooter. Doctors and suppliers have to comply with a myriad of regulations to get enrolled into Medicare (and stay enrolled for that matter). Therefore it’s important you verify their enrollment.

Medicare.gov further elaborates:“It’s also important to ask your suppliers if they participate in Medicare before you get DME. If suppliers are participating suppliers, they must accept assignment. If suppliers are enrolled in Medicare but aren’t “participating,” they may choose not to accept assignment.”

Does medicare cover scooters?

One of the most pertinent concerns for most seniors is the amount they will have to pay out of pocket for a scooter. If your DME provider is willing to work with your insurance and accept the assignment costs, you’ll have to pay 20% of the amount approved by Medicare. The Part B deductible will apply to the remaining amount.

Those who aren’t qualified for Part B can find decent scooters anywhere from $750 - $2,000. You’ll find a massive selection of mobility scooters at Parentgiving.com that sit in this price range. Each order is backed by a top of the line customer support team that will aid you through the ordering process.

Depending on where you live, you may be subject to Medicare’s Competitive Bidding Program. Medicare’s durable equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program can change the amount Medicare would typically pay for a scooter.

According to Medicare.gov, “suppliers submit bids to provide certain medical equipment and supplies to people with Medicare living in or visiting, competitive bidding areas. Medicare uses these bids to set the amount it pays for each item. All suppliers are thoroughly screened to make sure they meet Medicare requirements (like eligibility and financial, quality, and accreditation standards) before they’re awarded contracts.”

Overall, as long as you qualify for Part B you will still only pay 20% out of pocket for a mobility scooter included in the Competitive Bidding Program.

Grandfathered suppliers

Not every supplier is required to be a Medicare contract supplier to be qualified to participate in the Competitive Bidding program. Your supplier may very well decide to participate in the program as a “grandfathered” supplier.

Simply put, you can continue renting equipment from your supplier if you were renting equipment at the time the program began. In most cases, this rule applies to oxygen and oxygen equipment. However, check with your DME supplier to see if it can apply to a mobility scooter.

If you find yourself contracting with a grandfathered client, you will only be able to work with them until your rental period has ended. After this point, Medicare will no longer cover any new equipment you may pay for in the future.

What do you do if your current supplier decides not to become a grandfathered supplier?

If you have a supplier who chooses not to become a grandfathered client you have two choices:

  1. You can keep them as a supplier and pay out of pocket
  2. You can switch to a Medicare contract supplier and have Medicare coverage

If you want to enjoy the benefits of Part B coverage, you should locate a supplier who is contracted with Medicare. That way you won’t have to pay more than 20% of the full value of the scooter. However, you can still choose to stay with your current supplier if you’re happy with their service.

Staying on the move with a mobility scooter

If you’re qualified for Part B your best course of action would be to visit a Medicare contracted DME supplier near you to receive coverage on your mobility scooter. However, if you don’t qualify you can turn to sites such as Parentgiving.com to find the scooter you need to reclaim your mobility.