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You heard horror stories from your neighbors about HMOs and insurance companies, and now Medicare, refusing to pay for needed medical equipment. You're not asking for coverage of a tummy tuck, you're asking Medicare to help out with your electric wheel chair. You may already have been denied coverage for an electric wheel chair you already have, or you may be looking at electric wheelchairs while worrying about Medicare. If you're in the second situation, the old saying goes, "Don't put your power wheel chairs before the horse." At this point you may feel like buying a horse.
There are other options. Stores such as U-Scoot have Medicare, insurance and workman's compensation experts to deal with your questions and concerns about electric wheel chairs and Medicare. If your coverage won't reimburse for power wheel chairs, U-Scoot lets you keep your electric wheel chair as long as you've pre-qualified for one.
U-Scoot has a handy questionnaire to determine if you qualify. To automatically qualify, you must:
• Be bed-confined and chair-confined without the use of a wheelchair
• Have severe weakness in your shoulders and upper arms
• Be unable to operate a manual wheelchair
You may need to provide the consultants with more detailed information if you answer "no" to any of these choices. Scooterlink makes Medicare referrals when you buy, say, a Pride Mobility Pride Jet 2 HD from their store. You should always consult your policy and be sure to talk to the Underwriting department of your insurance company.
Medicare.gov provides information to Medicare users. You can download "Medicare Coverage of Durable Medical Equipment - 11045" in Adobe Acrobat format. In order for Medicare to cover your electric wheel chair, you must:
• Have a doctor's diagnosis as to why you can't use a manual wheelchair.
• Lack capability to push a manual wheelchair.
• Be unable to safely move on your own around your house without electric wheelchairs or with manual wheelchairs.