Does Medicare Cover Scooters?
Last Updated : 09/12/20183 min read
If you have mobility issues and are enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), your Part B benefits may cover 80% of allowable charges for a power scooter after your Part B deductible is met. You’ll have to meet certain eligibility requirements before your Part B benefits apply.
When does Medicare cover scooters?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), motorized mobility scooters (MMS) are the most commonly used mobility device after power wheelchairs. There were nearly 300,000 people using scooters in 2008, the most recent year data was collected. The NIH believes that scooter use has grown significantly over the past several years.
If you have limited mobility and lack the upper body strength to operate a manual wheelchair, Part B may cover a power scooter if all of the following conditions are met:
- Your doctor certifies that you have a medical condition that limits your mobility and requires the use of a power scooter for getting around in your home.
- Your condition affects your ability to perform daily living activities such as getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom with the help of other devices such as a cane or walker.
- You are able to safely get off and on the scooter and operate its controls, or you have someone at home who can help you operate the scooter safely.
- Both your doctor and your scooter supplier participate in Medicare.
If you are eligible for a power scooter, you pay 20% of the allowable charges for the device plus any applicable deductible.
Keep in mind that Medicare will generally not cover a scooter that is used primarily for getting around outdoors or away from the home, or for leisure or recreational use. You must need the scooter in the home to manage basic tasks of daily living.
Note that power scooters are considered durable medical equipment (DME) for Medicare purposes. In some areas of the country, DME may be subject to Medicare’s competitive bidding program. If you live in an area where this applies, you must get your scooter from a vendor contracted with Medicare under the competitive bidding program.
Does Medicare Advantage cover scooters?
Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) are an alternative way to get your Medicare benefits. All Medicare Advantage plans must cover, at a minimum, everything that Original Medicare Part A and Part B covers, except for hospice care, which is still covered under Part A. This means that Medicare Advantage plans must cover medically necessary mobility devices like power scooters if the above listed conditions are met.
However, because Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare, they are able to offer additional benefits to their members, such as Part D coverage for prescription drugs and coverage for routine vision and dental care. In many cases, copayments and deductibles are lower, or even waived for durable medical equipment like scooters.
Not every plan and benefit option may be available in all locations, however, and it’s important to remember that you must continue to pay your Part B premiums in addition to any other premium your plan requires.
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