Medicare is the country's health insurance program for people age 65 or older as well as those who qualify for disability. Finding funding for wheelchairs can be difficult, but this section will help you learn more about what Medicare is and how it can help cover the cost of wheelchairs.
Medicare Has Four Parts
Hospital insurance that helps pay for in-patient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay), some home health care and hospice care.
Medical insurance that helps pay for doctors' services and many other medical services and supplies (such as power wheelchairs and power wheelchair accessories) not covered by hospital insurance.
Medicare Advantage, formerly known as Medicare + Choice plans, is available in many areas. People with Medicare Parts A and B can choose to receive all of their health care services through one of these provider organizations under Part C.
Prescription drug coverage that helps pay for medications doctors prescribe for treatment.
Who Qualifies for Medicare?
- are at least 65 years old.
- are disabled and qualify for disability (may be under 65 years old).
- are US citizens or legal residents.
- have worked for at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment. Both spouses qualify even if only one meets this criterion.
The Difference Between Medicare & Medicaid
Medicaid is a state-run program that provides hospital and medical coverage for low-income individuals. Each state has its own rules about who is eligible and what is covered under Medicaid. Alternatively, Medicare is a federal program available to all U.S. citizens after their 65th birthday. Some people qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. For more information about the Medicaid program, contact your local medical assistance agency, social services or welfare office.
How Can I Get More Information About Medicare and Medicare Wheelchair Benefits?
This site has a variety of information about Medicare as it relates to mobility aids such as power wheelchairs. Please call us toll-free at 1-415-740-9088 and we'll be happy to discuss the Medicare guidelines and power wheelchair details with you.
Additional information can also be found in the publication Medicare & You (Publication Number CMS-10050), available by calling the Medicare toll free number, 1-800-MEDICARE, or at www.medicare.gov.