Medicare pays for many things, but, unfortunately, stairlifts are not one of them. As a result, we put together some tips to help you make the most of what’s available in this space, and bring down the cost of purchasing a stairlift.
Medicare and Stairlifts
You might have been told that original Medicare covers the cost of purchasing a stairlift. This is true, but only to an extent.
Original Medicare covers a small fraction of the cost of purchasing a stairlift with an elevating seat. This is a high-end design that helps the user safely sit and get up from the stairlift. As a result, the fraction of the cost that original Medicare will pay is not very large, so you will find that it is cheaper to buy a basic stairlift.
Does Supplemental Medicare Pay for Stairlifts?
No, supplemental Medicare does not cover stairlifts. It’s intended to supplement co-payments for goods and services that are already covered under the original Medicare.
Medigap also does not cover stairlifts.
Does Medicare Advantage Pay for Stairlifts?
Medicare Advantage Plans can cover the cost of stairlifts. Following a recent ruling, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) allows Medicare Advantage to cover items that are intended for daily use, such as stairlifts. These items must be deemed necessary for the survival of the senior or patient in question.
This also includes items that either improve the patient’s functionality after an injury, or prevent the need for emergency care.
Patients with chronic illnesses will be covered under the Medicare Advantage plan in 2020. Supplemental benefits will be designed to fit the needs of the patients in question. As a result, it is possible that Medicare Advantage plans will cover the acquisition of stairlifts.
Does Medicaid Pay for Stairlifts?
Medicaid policies and programs vary across different states. Medicaid has a program that is specifically designed for the elderly and disabled. Under this program, it is highly likely that Medicaid will pay for the purchase of a stairlift if this will help the affected person avoid the need for a nursing home placement.
It is expensive for states to maintain nursing home facilities, so they are willing to do everything possible to help the elderly and disabled stay in their homes. Patients who are eligible for Medicaid may benefit from this if the installation of a stairlift is needed for them to stay home.
If Medicaid pays for your stairlift, it will do so under the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers. Waivers that cover home modifications may cover the cost of installing a stairlift.
What About Veterans?
The Veteran’s Administration (VA) healthcare is more lenient compared to original Medicare. Consequently, it may pay for a stairlift.
There are many veterans on wheelchairs due to war-related injuries who are entitled to home modification benefits that will improve their functionality. VA healthcare can cover such costs. Prior to authorization, a healthcare worker may visit the home to assess the need and give recommendations.
Veterans living with war-related disabilities can also use the SHA Grant and the SAH Grant to purchase a stairlift. These grants cover the cost of home modifications for people living with disabilities.
If you are not eligible for any of the financial assistance listed above, consider a low-interest loan from lending institutions. Some stairlift sellers offer affordable payment plans that allow you to pay for a stairlift over an extended period of time. Alternatively, you can consider renting a stairlift or purchasing a pre-owned one.