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You've seen the Google ads. "Get an electric wheel chair at no cost to you if you qualify." You think that sounds great, especially if you need one of the high-end electric wheelchairs such as the Pride Jazzy 1400. Then you hear that Medicare covers 80 percent of the cost as long as your doctor approves the chair. Which do you believe? Is it Internet hype about electric wheel chairs and Medicare? Should you call the Better Business Bureau? Actually, not just yet…
You can get away with both 80 percent coverage and a free ride on the remainder, especially if the power wheel chairs you are considering come from a Medicare-approved manufacturer. Typically, secondary insurance covers the 20 percent Medicare doesn't, but Medicare must be your primary insurance. If you don't have and can't afford secondary insurance, makers of power wheel chairs can pay the remaining 20 percent, provided you qualify. Be wary, however, of any manufacturer that charges fees to evaluate you, or any hidden fees whatsoever. Legit manufacturers usually offer a no-obligation evaluation. Also, some companies such as Electric Mobility, maker of the Rascal Scooter, have run afoul of the Better Business Bureau, so do your homework. There's a reason Medicare doesn't give its stamp of approval to all manufacturers and you know by now not to believe everything that's on the Internet.