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Having limited mobility can be pretty frustrating. It keeps you from getting around and doing many of the daily tasks you want to do on your own.
Though wheelchairs can help, most wheelchairs are manually powered. And, in some situations, you may need another person to help you move around in a wheelchair.
On the other hand, using a scooter, especially an electric one, eliminates those issues. Which is a big reason why electric scooters are becoming more and more popular.
But renting or purchasing a scooter can be quite expensive. So a common question many people have is, “does Medicare cover 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 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 as they are considered Durable Medical Equipment (or DME for short).
Scooters are what’s known as power mobility devices or PMDs in Medicare-speak. And Medicare will cover the rental or partial costs of a PMD such as a scooter.
However, you must meet certain conditions before Medicare Part B provides coverage for the rental or purchase of your scooter. Those conditions include:
- You need a scooter in order to be mobile inside your home – it’s not for outdoor use
- You have a medical condition that limits or prevents you from moving well inside your home
- The scooter helps you perform daily tasks inside your home
- Your healthcare provider gives you a prescription that states why it is medically necessary for you to own/rent a scooter
- You know how to use the scooter safely and are strong enough to use it and control it
- You can get on and off the electric scooter safely. If you cannot, you must have the help of another person capable of assisting or getting you on and off the electric scooter.
- Your home can accommodate electric scooter use
Finding a Scooter Supplier
Also, your DME supplier needs to be a Medicare-approved supplier and accept assignment.
Medicare Part B still covers scooters even if your DME supplier does not accept assignments. However, if your supplier does not accept Medicare assignment he/she may charge you more.
If you don’t want to buy a scooter, Medicare Part B will pay for a monthly rental. Though, again, the conditions above must apply.
Once approved, Medicare Part B will cover 80% of a scooter’s rental. If you purchase a scooter, you may pay for the full cost and Medicare Part B will reimburse 80% of the price.
Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) also provides coverage for scooters. They cover everything Original Medicare covers as well as some additional benefits. However, out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on the specifics of your plan.
How Much Does Electric Scooters Cost?
The costs of electric mobility scooters can vary widely. Prices depend largely on the type of scooter you get and what features it has. Figure costs to be around $600 on the low end and $2,000 or more on the high end.
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 mental health?