But will it fit in my car?
I could not have imagined what a game changer an SUV and a transport wheelchair would be for my mother’s care. (Jump to Lessons Learned)
In October of 2014 my sedan was two years old. I did not intend to change cars, but my father’s van had been in and out of the shop with alarming frequency and I knew the sedan was too low to the ground for my mother. A letter from the dealer offering an upgrade with the same financing caught my eye, and a scheduled service visit resulted in my walking out of the dealership that October day with a 2015 compact SUV.
The decision was not exactly spur of the moment, but I am grateful every day that I made it. The next month my father went into the hospital; his van would not start and mom needed to visit him.
Which leads me to wheelchairs. My mother needs a wheelchair when she leaves the house. The one she owns is heavy, cumbersome and difficult for me to put in the SUV. We decided to get a transport wheelchair which is lighter, (although mom says it’s not as comfortable for all day use). It has made all the difference in the world for us. I can get the wheelchair in and out of the SUV without help and I can do it multiple times in one day.
- We own the regular size wheelchair and Medicare helped pay for it.
- Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers power-operated vehicles (scooters) and wheelchairs as Durable Medical Equipment (DME) that your doctor prescribes for use in your home. Medicare will only cover your DME if your doctors and DME suppliers are enrolled in Medicare. All people with Part B Medicare are covered. (Source: Medicare.gov: Coverage for manual wheelchairs and power mobility devices).
- Most equipment Medicare covers is rented. If you rent your DME, it is important to know Medicare will help you pay a monthly rental fee for the item, for up to 13 months. After 13 months, you will automatically own the equipment. (Source: Medicareinteractive.org: Buying or renting durable medical equipment DME except oxygen).
- Once you own the wheelchair, Medicare will continue to pay for the chair’s maintenance and repair. (Source: Caring.com: Does medicare cover wheelchairs).
- We are renting a transport chair for a small monthly fee from a DME supplier that falls under the competitive bidding program, Medicare pays the balance. If you live in a competitive bidding area and do not use a Competitive Bidding Area (CBA) supplier, Medicare will not reimburse you. When you go out the the Medicare website, you can put in your zip code to learn if your state is in the Competitive Bidding Program.
Note: Medicare rules are complex and can change. Be sure to research your particular need and discuss your situation with your doctor and Medicare.
Disclaimer: The material in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace, nor does it replace, consulting with a physician, lawyer, accountant, financial planner or other qualified professional.