Over the years you may be experiencing severe arthritis or limited mobility. In that case, having a lift chair could be the household furniture for you. A lift chair is a motorized device that assists people going up and down a chair and into different positions. The chair is self-controlled and can usually be made to go fully flat or into a “lifted” state that helps users into a standing position. The gentle controls on a lifted chair makes it easy to get to a standing position without having to strain one’s back. Most of all, it will give you the independence to sit comfortably without having to worry about abrupt body motions.
The big question is: does Medicare cover lift chairs? Also, what are some lift chair options covered by Medicare?
Best Lift Chairs Covered by Medicare
Luckily, under Medicare Part B, the cost of lift chairs may be paid for. Since lift chairs are considered durable medical equipment (DME) the cost is covered with Part B up to 80% and with a Medicare Advantage (Medigap) the remaining 20% can be covered so you don’t have to pay out of pocket.
However, you won’t qualify for a Medigap plan if you are living in a skilled nursing home or hospital. In addition, you won’t be eligible if Medicare has already covered your purchase of a scooter, wheelchair, or other motorized devices.
The reason Medicare Part B can cover lift chairs is because they cover the motorized device in the chair that helps “lift” users out of the seat. Without the lift device, then Medicare coverage won’t apply to a regular chair, cushions, and other accessories.
Learn more: Does Medicare Cover Walkers with Seats?
How to Lower the Cost of a Lift Chair
Without Medicare coverage a lift chair could cost you hundreds to even thousand of dollars. However, with Medicare part B, if you qualify most of the cost (80%) is covered. The remaining 20% can be paid out of pocket or covered with a Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap). With a Medicare Supplement plan, private insurance helps cover the cost that regular Medicare does not cover. In result, it significantly reduces the price of lift chairs and other medical services.
Where do I buy a lift chair?
Before purchasing a lift chair online or in-store, first, visit Medicare.gov to find a supplier that accepts Medicare assignments. Once on the site, enter your zip code and select the “Seat Lift Mechanisms” category and look at the list of suppliers with an “M” symbol that indicates they accept Medicare assignments. You must buy the lift chair from these Medicare-approved suppliers or else Medicare will not cover the cost.
The process to have Medicare coverage for your lift chair is simple. Once you’ve decided on which lift chair you want, you’ll pay for the chair and after submitting a claim to Medicare. After, Medicare will reimburse you up to 80% of the cost, and if you have a Medicare supplement the remainder 20% will be covered. If not, then the rest is out of pocket costs. Typically, depending on the state you live in, reimbursement is around $280 to $300 for durable medical equipment.
Medical Standards for Lift Chair Coverage
There are some requirements that need to be met in order to get lift chair coverage. Here is a shortlist of those standards that make it “medically necessary” for you to have your lift chair covered by Medicare:
- Diagnosed with severe arthritis in the knee or hips
- Have a condition that makes it necessary to have lift chair support
- Can’t stand up on your own from a regular chair
- Without the Lift chair, you would be confined to a chair or bed
- You must be able to operate the lift chair independently
- You can walk up once the chair is in the lifted position
Having a lift chair in your household is wonderful if you are experiencing knee pain, arthritis, back pains, or limited mobility. As a Medically necessary device, this unique chair can help you gain the independence you need without having to go through pain. With Medicare insurance and a Medicare Advantage plan, buying a lift chair is more accessible with your budget.
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