Will Medicare Cover a Ramp to My Front Door?

Jory Cross by Jory Cross | Licensed since 2012

This article was updated on: 09/15/2018

If you or someone you love has mobility issues, you may want to install a wheelchair ramp to the front door to make it possible to avoid stairs. Unfortunately, if you are enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), there is generally no coverage for a wheelchair ramp.

Would Medicare cover wheelchair ramps?

Medicare Part B generally covers many types of durable medical equipment (DME) for use in the home (although if you are in a skilled nursing facility or hospital, DME may be covered under Part A). If your doctor believes it is medically necessary to treat or manage your condition, Medicare may cover DME that is:

  • Able to withstand repeated use with a lifetime of at least 3 years.
  • Used to treat your medical condition and not typically helpful for someone who is not injured or incapacitated.
  • Used primarily in the home, although in somecases, such as canes or wheelchairs, for example, it can be used outside the home, as well.

However, Medicare generally will not cover wheelchair ramps, even with a doctor’s order.

What equipment might Medicare cover for people with mobility issues?

Depending on your condition and what your doctor believes is medically necessary for your care, Medicare may cover a variety of equipment and devices to help people with mobility issues, such as:

  • Canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters
  • Bedside commodes
  • Hospital beds and patient lifts

For more about Medicare coverage of DME, click here.

Note that Medicare will only cover DME if both your doctor and your equipment supplier accept Medicare assignment. In some areas of the country, you may be required to get your DME from a supplier approved under the Competitive Bidding Program, a new cost-control program under Medicare.

Typically, Medicare covers 80% of the approved amount for purchase or rental of medically necessary DME ordered by your doctor; your Part B deductible applies.

Does Medicare Advantage cover wheelchair ramps?

Medicare Advantage plans provide an alternative way to get your Original Medicare benefits. By law, they must cover, at a minimum, everything that Medicare Part A and Part B cover, except for hospice care, which is still covered under Medicare Part A.

Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies contracted with Medicare, and sometimes offer additional benefits to their members, such as coverage for routine vision, dental, and hearing care, as well as gym memberships and wellness programs in some cases. A Medicare Advantage plan may also not cover a wheelchair ramp, but the plan’s coverage for DME would be the same as it is under Medicare Part B. You might want to read your plan’s guidelines for DME coverage before you enroll in a plan.

Not all Medicare Advantage plan types and benefit options may be available in all areas, and your premiums may vary depending on the plan you select and where you live. You must continue to pay your monthly Part B premium plus any premium required by your plan as long as you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

Still have questions about a wheelchair ramp and Medicare?

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