For frail seniors living at home, moving around can be very challenging.
Having wheelchair ramps can help them safely navigate their homes and help regain their much-cherished independence.
And like you, many seniors are asking the big question:
“Does Medicare cover wheelchair ramps?”
Like with most things Medicare, there’s no short answer to this. Medicare is split into different parts, with each offering various coverages. So let’s see whether any of these parts pay for wheelchair ramps.
Does Medicare Original Cover Wheelchair Ramps?
Medicare Original provides coverage for Durable Medical Equipment such as crutches, hospital beds, wheelchairs, oxygen accessories, walkers, etc.
However, Medicare generally does not pay for wheelchair ramps because they are not considered medically necessary to diagnose or treat a condition. Rather, they are seen as “home improvements.”
There are always exceptions to rules, though. If a licensed physician deems wheelchair ramps medically necessary for you, Medicare might reimburse. However, the bar for medical necessity is high, and many seniors will be unable to meet it.
Does Medicare Advantage Cover Wheelchair Ramps?
Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C, generally covers everything in Medicare Original. However, they are only available through private insurance agencies and may offer different coverages depending on the state and the provider.
As such, some providers provide coverage for wheelchair ramps and other home modifications as a covered benefit. So, you might be able to pay for your wheelchair ramps under Medicare Advantage.
Medicaid is a joint federal-state insurance program available through Regular Medicaid, Home and Community Based Services Waivers (HCBS Waivers), and Nursing Home Benefits.
Regular Medicaid has the same rules as original Medicare, which means they’ll only cover the cost if it is seen as medically necessary by a licensed physician. However, HCBS Waivers do pay for the construction of wheelchair ramps in most states because they prevent or delay beneficiaries from moving into a nursing home, helping the states save more money.
Some non-profit organizations that could help with paying for wheelchair ramps include:
Habitat for humanity
Centers for Independent Living
We hope we provided answers to your question, “does Medicare cover wheelchair ramps.”. If you require further clarification, do not hesitate to speak with a Medicare expert!