Medical Insurance usually pays for mobility scooters for seniors who can indicate they have a medical need for the scooter. To prove medical necessity, a senior must obtain a medical prescription from their physician or occupational therapist.
Seniors who live on a fixed income may not be able to afford the cost of a mobility scooter without some form of financial assistance. Fortunately, Medicare, Medicaid and most private health insurance companies have programs in place to ensure that seniors who need scooters can obtain them at little or no cost.
Qualifying for a Mobility Scooter Through Medical Insurance
For medical insurance to pay for a mobility scooter, a senior must obtain a prescription from a licensed medical professional — a physician, an occupational therapist, a rheumatologist or other specialist who can verify the applicant needs the scooter to function on a daily basis.
Medicare has a Wheelchair & Scooter Benefit that pays 80% of the total cost of a mobility scooter for seniors enrolled in Medicare Part B or a Medicare Advantage Plan, and if a senior has private insurance on top of Medicare, the insurance company pays the remaining 20%.
Insurance Coverage Constraints for Mobility Scooters
The process of obtaining a physician’s prescription for a mobility scooter can require multiple visits and a sea of paperwork — as well as a lot of time waiting for approval — before a senior ever sees their new mobility scooter, but it’s important to follow all the steps to guarantee medical insurance pays for the equipment.
To qualify for a mobility scooter through medical insurance, a senior must prove that a mobility scooter will improve their mobility issues more than other mobility equipment options, such as a cane, wheelchair or walker. A senior must show they have the strength and postural stability to use a mobility scooter but are unable to use a manual wheelchair for their mobility needs.
Seniors who hope to obtain a mobility scooter through their medical insurance plan must be prepared to wait weeks or months to receive their equipment. They must also realize that most insurance companies — including Medicare — only pay for certain makes/models of mobility scooters and often only cover the cost of the scooter itself, requiring seniors to pick up the cost of accessories, such as baskets, lifts or ramps.