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does Medicare cover electric mobility scooters

Does Medicare Cover Electric Scooters?

Have trouble scooting around? Well, then maybe an electric scooter is in your near future.

Electric scooters are three or 4-wheeled motorized vehicles that can help a person who cannot walk go from one location to their destination. These are also known as Power Operated Vehicles (POV)

And it is technically a vehicle. But it is not one you would want to take out on highways or roads. It acts more like a wheelchair or a mobility device.

Due to the expense of these vehicles, a common question many people have is, “does Medicare cover Electric Scooters?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of electric scooters, as well as other helpful info.

Does Medicare Cover Electric Scooters?

The short answer is yes; Medicare will cover the cost of electric scooters. But not 100% of the time. As is often the case with Medicare, certain conditions have to be met for Medicare to pay for your electric scooter. Below we look at what these are so you know what to expect.

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) provides coverage for electric scooters. Coverage for scooters falls under Medicare Part B because they are considered Durable Medical Equipment or DME in short.

Scooters are part of the category of DME knows as power mobility devices or PMD. Medicare covers the rental or partial costs of a power mobility device. However, for Medicare to cover the cost of your electric scooters or other PMD, you must follow certain conditions.

Qualifying Conditions

  • The scooter must be medically necessary. You will have to meet with your doctor face-to-face. During that meeting your doctor will evaluate you. If s/he finds that you need a scooter, they will give you an order for Medicare stating that the scooter is medically necessary.
  • The scooter must be for outdoor use. If you just use the scooter around your home, Medicare will not cover it.  
  • It’s very difficult for you to move around in your home due to a medical condition
  • Performing daily living activities (bathing, getting dressed, etc) is extremely difficult – even if you use a cane, walker or crutches
  • You can safely operate the electric scooter and are strong enough to sit on it and know how to use its controls
  • You can get on and off the electric scooter safely. Or, you must have someone taking care of you to help keep you safe.
  • Your home can accommodate electric scooter use – your doors, halls and other parts of the house are big/wide enough for a scooter

Your DME supplier must also be Medicare-approved and accept assignment. If your DME supplier does not accept assignments, you may end up paying a lot more. And Medicare may not reimburse you.

If you rent an electric scooter, Medicare Part B will pay for it monthly. Again, as long as it is medically necessary.

If approved, Medicare Part B will cover 80% of the rental or purchase costs of an electric scooter. If you purchase an electric scooter, you may pay for the whole cost, and Medicare Part B will reimburse 80% of the price.

Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) also provide coverage for electric scooters. They cover everything Original Medicare covers along with some additional benefits. However, out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on the plan provided by the plan providers.

How Much Does Electric Scooters Cost?

Electric Scooters may cost from $600 to $2,000. The costs depend on the type of scooter you get, what features it has and more.

The cost of renting a scooter also varies widely. Much of this depends on where you live. A good average cost is around $25 to $30 a day. However, it can be around $50 in bigger cities.

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.

Additional Info on Medicare Coverage

This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”

Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare cover medical transportation?

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