Lift chairs are covered by Medicare Part B as durable medical equipment. If a doctor has recommended the use of a lift chair for a senior who has arthritis, balance issues or limited mobility, Medicare Part B or Medicare Advantage may cover the cost of the chair.
Lift chairs can be a lifeline for many older adults, helping them remain in their own homes for longer. Many medical conditions make it challenging to navigate stairs, and mobility aids could make the difference between a senior staying in the home they love or being forced to downsize.
Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage will usually cover most of the costs of a lift chair; however, there are some exceptions to this. If a person has already received medicare support for a scooter, wheelchair or other motorized mobility aid, they won’t be eligible to have a lift chair covered on medicare.
In addition, Medicare does not cover the cost of a chair that uses a spring-type device to lift the rider out. Nor does it cover the cost of fabrics, cushions or other accessories. This means in most cases Medicare covers 80% of the cost of the motorized device. The recipient is expected to cover the remaining 20% of that cost, plus the cost of any comfort-related accessories such as cushions.
Supplemental Medigap plans will usually cover the costs that are not covered by Medicare Advantage or a Medigap Part B plan. Seniors can choose the chair they want, and will then need to buy the chair then submit a claim for reimbursement. You may also have the option of renting a lift chair instead of buying it.
Before choosing a chair, make sure both your doctor and the durable medical equipment supplier accept the assignment and that the cost of the chair is no higher than the Medicare-approved amount for your state.
If you’re unable to afford the remaining 20% of the cost of a lift chair, contact a local senior organization to find out if there are any home and community-based services waivers or similar programs in your state. These programs may help to cover some of the costs of durable medical equipment and mobility aids so that you can remain in your home for longer and avoid the need to move to an assisted living facility.