Does Medicare Cover Rollators? 

The ability to safely and comfortably get around plays a big part in your quality of life. It’s fairly easy to take mobility for granted, but when a health concern begins to affect your ability to walk, run or even stand, it can become impossible to ignore. Seniors are the largest demographic of Americans to face mobility challenges. This leaves many individuals unable to enjoy the things they used to do. Even getting around your home can be difficult when you suffer from mobility challenges.

How are mobility issues treated?

Treatment for mobility problems largely depends on the cause and the severity of the ailment. Some seniors may need to take prescription medications to strengthen joints and bones for improved mobility. Others may require surgery to correct physical problems that contribute to decreased mobility. Still, others may be able to enjoy greater mobility through the use of medical equipment like rollators.

What is a rollator?

A rollator is similar to a traditional walker in design. The difference between a rollator and a walker is that a rollator has wheels attached along with a braking system. A traditional walker requires you to lift the equipment with each step, but a rollator allows you to glide along flat surfaces without any lifting involved. Many rollators also include a seat that may be in a fixed position or may fold down. Others also include storage space in the form of an attached basket, bag or similar container.

How does Medicare cover rollators?

Original Medicare insurance covers durable medical equipment (DME) through Medicare Part B. This is the same part of Medicare coverage that supplies benefits for outpatient care in doctor’s offices. In order for Medicare recipients to take advantage of DME insurance through Part B, the use of a rollator will need to be ordered by a Medicare-participating physician.

In addition, any rollator covered by Medicare benefits will need to come from a Medicare-approved supplier. Even if you find the same model of rollator available at a local drugstore or department store, Medicare coverage only applies toward the purchase if the equipment comes from an approved supplier. Buying or renting a rollator on your own may mean that you will be responsible for the full cost.

Part B coverage requires a monthly premium, and there is also a deductible that must be met prior to the application of benefits. In 2023, the standard Part B deductible is $226. The standard monthly premium for Part B in 2023 is $164.90; however, this amount can change depending on your income and tax filing status.

Coverage for inpatient use of a rollator

If you are hospitalized or admitted to a skilled nursing facility (SNF), Medicare Part A will cover the use of a prescribed rollator. Medicare Part A is time-limited inpatient insurance that covers up to 60 days in hospitals and 20 days in SNFs. If you require ongoing inpatient coverage beyond these limits, you may be able to access additional days by paying a per-day fee. All services and equipment provided by the inpatient facility are covered under Medicare Part A during your admission period.

Medicare Advantage coverage for rollators

A Medicare Advantage plan includes all of the same benefits as Original Medicare, but these types of plans are offered through private insurers that contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). These insurers are able to offer additional benefits on top of those included in Original Medicare. While each plan and provider offers different additional benefits, Medicare recipients may be able to enjoy a greater variety of purchase options for DME through a Medicare Advantage plan. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may need to get your rollator from a supplier within your plan’s network. 

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