Understanding Medicare and Lift Chairs

Published by Steve Hedberg on December 4, 2008 Under Medicare

Medicare Explained

When Medicare first began law in the sixties, it was designed to help make affordable medical care available to citizens over the age of sixty-five. It is largely funded by the federal government with the help of payroll taxes. While much is covered by Medicare, there is often a deductible required. The amount of Medicare Payroll Taxes that an individual or their spouse has paid into Medicare will affect their deductible.

In addition to those over sixty-five being eligible to receive Medicare coverage, people who have acute kidney problems and Lou Gehrig’s Disease are also eligible. The insured will receive coverage for hospital stays, doctors visits, X-Rays, and beginning recently Prescription Medicine.

One thing that is covered by Medicare is the cost of durable medical equipment. Lift chairs fall into the category of Durable Medical Equipment, along with things like wheelchairs, mobility scooters, eye glasses, and oxygen supplies.

For most durable medical equipment that is covered by Medicare, the insured will be responsible for twenty percent of the cost, with Medicare picking up the remaining 80%. This is common with almost all types of equipment, but Lift Chairs are a little different.

Lift chairs are a special type of lifting aid that is used to make it easier to stand or sit. The whole chair is raised into the air by a power lifting system, commonly referred to as a lifting mechanism. When the lifting system is fully engaged, the char is raised, leaving the occupant in a position that they can stand easily and safely.

Is a Lift Chair Covered By Medicare?

The only part of a lift chairs that is covered by Medicare is the lifting mechanism. At most, Medicare will usually reimburse about $300 towards the cost of a lift chair, with the insured being responsible for the remainder.

In order for the lifting mechanism to be covered, it must be an electric lifting mechanism. Spring lifting mechanisms had been used, but due to safety concerns, the practice of a spring lifting system is largely discontinued. One of the dangerous things about using a spring system is that the chair can not be stopped once it is in motion, which has resulted in many injuries.

As a result of how dangerous a spring lift chair is, Medicare will not cover these types of chairs. Instead the only chair that Medicare will cover is an electric lift chair.

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