Does Medicare Cover Mobility Scooters? 

Mobility aids have come a long way since the invention of the wheelchair in the early 1700s. Today, seniors who experience mobility challenges have a range of solutions available, including powered scooters that can be used indoors and out. Powered scooters include electric motors controlled by steering mechanisms, allowing the user to effortlessly drive the scooter without being encumbered by having to physically move the wheels.

The benefits of motorized scooters for seniors

Many motorized scooters include storage compartments for keeping medical supplies and personal items with you on the go. This makes powered scooters ideal for seniors who like to travel and for those who need to keep medications nearby while mobile.

In terms of distance and efficiency, advancements in battery technology allow some mobility scooters to travel over 20 miles before requiring a charge. This means seniors have more options for getting around town, visiting friends and family, or simply maneuvering around the home without worrying as often about having to take a break to charge a battery.

The cost of mobility scooters

Although scooters provide a number of benefits, the cost of these devices can be a concern. While prices vary between models and manufacturers, the average cost of an electric mobility scooter is close to $1,000. Private insurance may cover some of this cost, but not every senior has access to private insurance, especially if retired and no longer eligible for employer-sponsored health coverage.

Does Medicare cover mobility scooters?

Medicare benefits may cover mobility scooters for seniors when a doctor has deemed the equipment medically necessary. This is typically handled through Medicare Part B, the outpatient benefit. Although Medicare Part B is known for covering costs associated with doctor visits and outpatient surgery, Part B also covers durable medical equipment (DME). 

Do all mobility scooters qualify for Medicare coverage?

In order for a mobility scooter to be considered for Medicare coverage, you must first meet the criteria for the DME. The equipment must be ordered by a Medicare-participating physician. The scooter must be a medical necessity, and it must come from a select number of suppliers recognized by Medicare insurance. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may need to use suppliers within your plan’s network.

If you don’t get your scooter through a Medicare approved supplier, you will likely be responsible for the full cost of the equipment.

The cost of a mobility scooter under Medicare Part B

If Medicare benefits cover your scooter through Medicare Part B, you will pay 20% of the final cost. Medicare pays 80% of qualifying Part B costs, including those associated with DME. If you rent a scooter instead of purchasing one, Medicare will still pay 80% of the rental fee while you have the equipment.

Medicare Part B premium costs for mobility scooters

Medicare recipients who carry Part B pay a monthly premium for this coverage. The standard Part B premium in 2024 is 174.70. Your income can change the amount you pay for your Part B premium. In general, the higher your income level, the more you will pay each month for outpatient and DME coverage. This is because some Medicare recipients are assessed an additional fee known as an income-related monthly adjusted amount (IRMAA) that serves as an additional premium on top of the standard premium.

Medicare Part B deductible costs for mobility scooters

Part B coverage also carries a deductible that must be met prior to using benefits to pay for mobility scooters and other Part B expenses. The Part B deducible for 2024 is $240. Once you have met your deductible for the year, Medicare coverage applies toward eligible Part B costs. 

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