As you age there are more healthcare concerns as well as coverage questions. Does medicare cover stairlifts? The short answer is “no.” Healthcare often covers most medical essentials — such as doctors and hospital visits, surgery, and other medical assistance.
Why doesn’t medicare cover stairlifts? They consider it a home modification rather than durable medical equipment. It is considered an environmental element — similar to an in-home elevator — instead of a medical necessity. There are considerations for those in the VA, but it is still incredibly limited.
Read on to learn how to find assistance and what stairlift insurance covers.
Medicare Coverage for Stair Lifts
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that covers people over 65 years of age (or those younger with disabilities). While it covers most medical-related expenses and necessities, it falls short of assisting people with certain mobility needs.
- Part A coverage assists with inpatient hospital care, nursing homes, hospice, and home health care.
- Part B coverage often covers a variety of equipment outlined as Durable Medical Equipment (DME) but, unfortunately, stair lifts are not part of this classification. DME includes hospital beds, infusions, and oxygen.
Additional parts are available through supplemental coverage but do not always include stairlift coverage.
Does Medicare Advantage Cover Stair Lifts?
Although Medicare does not cover stair lifts, Medicare Advantage may assist. Offered by Medicare-approved private companies that follow Medicare guidelines and rules, these companies must offer at least the same coverage as Medicare, often including drug coverage.
Because these are private companies, they can offer additional coverage and sometimes cover part, if not all, of the cost of a stair lift. Coverage can change provider-to-provider and plan-to-plan, so the best route is to contact your Medicare Advantage plan directly. You can change your plan annually to accommodate your anticipated needs and expenses. So while Medicare does not cover stair lifts, there may still be options. Be sure to call your Medicare Advantage provider to confirm your coverage.
Less Expensive Alternatives
Although it would be ideal for your insurance companies to financially assist you and help you accommodate any needs, this is not always the reality. If Medicare does not cover stair lifts consider the following options to accommodate your stairlift needs.
- Buy used – For individuals who do not have insurance that will cover the cost of a stair lift and their Medicare Advantage or Medicaid plans don’t account for it, there are options. Consider used or rental options that fit your budget.
- Medicaid Assistance – In many states, Medicaid can cover part or all of the cost of installing a stair lift in your home.
- Long-Term Care Insurance – Some long-term care policyholders have plans that cover the cost of a stair lift.
Companies like Aetna, Humana, Cigna, and others offer a variety of policies — most without stairlift coverage. Does medicare cover stairlifts? No. But, you are not left without multiple options.
Contact Williams Lifts today to discuss financing options, used stairlifts, and how to have one installed.