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does medicare cover lift chairs

Does Medicare Cover Lift Chairs?

A lift chair is a piece of medical equipment used to help a person go from a sitting position to a standing one. 

Although it may look like a reclining chair, it can lift a person with just a push of a button. It is commonly used by older individuals who have arthritis or similar conditions.

So a common question for those who could benefit from one is, “Does Medicare cover lift chairs?” 

In this article, we answer the question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of lift chairs and other helpful info.

Does Medicare Cover Lift Chairs?

The short answer is yes; Medicare will cover the cost of lift chairs. But not 100% of the time. 

As is often the case with Medicare, certain conditions must be met for Medicare to pay for your lift chairs. Below we look at what these are so you know what to expect.

Original Medicare Coverage of Lift Chairs

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) provides coverage for lift chairs. This plan provides coverage for your lift chairs if it is considered medically necessary. This means your healthcare provider will have to let Medicare know you require a lift chair in order for Original Medicare to provide coverage. 

Is Coverage Provided by Part A or Part B?

Coverage for lift chairs is provided by Medicare Part B. Medicare Part B considers lift chairs as Durable Medical Equipment or also known as DME. 

Part B provides coverage for the rental or purchase of lift chairs, similar to how they provide coverage for hospital beds.  

Conditions to Meet for a Lift Chair to be Medically Necessary

For Medicare Part B to consider the rental or purchase of lift chairs to be medically necessary, it has to follow these certain conditions:

  • You have a medical condition such as arthritis in your hips or knees.
  • You have a prescription from your healthcare provider which states your medical condition and why you need a lift chair. Some of these conditions may include the following:
    • Medical conditions that require frequent body positioning to mend the pain, such as arthritis in the knees and hips
  • You have the ability to operate the lift chair.
  • You are incapable of standing up without assistance from the lift chair.
  • When standing, you can walk independently or with the aid of a walker or cane, or you are transferred to a wheelchair. 
  • You have tried other treatments, such as physical therapy, but it was not successful
  • The seat lift mechanism is part of the healthcare provider’s course of treatment to effect improvement or delay the deterioration of the patient’s condition.

Medicare Advantage Coverage of Lift Chairs

Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) also provide coverage for lift chairs. These plans must cover everything Original Medicare covers.

Part C plans will also cover some things Original Medicare does not. The exact coverage and costs will depend on the plan you have.

How Much Do Lift Chairs Cost?

Lift chairs can range from around $600 to thousands of dollars. How much it costs you will depend on the type of chair you get and its features.

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage. 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 x-rays?

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Medicare Plan Tips Team

Annie Kaye is a writer and researcher who was thrown into the Medicare world while taking care of her ailing mother. Even with a degree in Library Science and a long history of fighting for what's right, she felt lost. She learned a lot about Medicare during that time and now writes to help others understand how the system works.