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Does Medicare Cover Stair Lifts?

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By Daniel Petkevich
Nov 18, 2022

Read this before you remodel your home

Stair lifts are a modification that can help Medicare beneficiaries enjoy their homes for years to come. Despite the importance of stair lifts for many beneficiaries, Medicare does not recognize them as Durable Medical Equipment (DME), so they are not covered. However, they are covered by some Medicaid packages and some Medicare Advantage plans as part of their extra benefits.

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Let's dig more into stair lifts and how you might be covered.

What is a stair lift and what are its benefits?

A stair lift is an electronic device that helps people with mobility issues ascend and descend stairs. It uses a motorized chair or platform to move you up and down the stairs safely and conveniently.
The benefits of having a stair lift installed include: improved accessibility in your home, increased independence, reduced risk of falls, and less strain on your joints.

How do you know if you need a stair lift?

If you are having difficulty using your stairs, a stair lift can provide greater independence and mobility in your home. If you have difficulty getting up or down the stairs due to arthritis, joint pain, balance issues, or any other physical limitations, then it might be time to consider investing in a stair lift. A doctor’s evaluation of your mobility and the layout of your home can help you decide if a stair lift is right for you.
It's important to note that stair lifts are not just for elderly individuals – they can be used by anyone who has difficulty getting up or down the stairs.

What are the different types of stair lifts?

There are three main types of stair lifts: straight, curved, and outdoor. Straight stair lifts follow a straight path up the stairs and are best suited for homes with a single-story staircase. Curved stair lifts are designed to navigate around corners and turns on multi-level stairs. Outdoors stair lifts are designed for use on outdoor stairs, and can be customized to fit any size or shape of stair.
No matter which type of stair lift you choose, make sure it is installed by a professional technician who is certified in the installation and maintenance of stair lifts.

How much do stair lifts cost?

The cost of a stair lift depends on the type, features and installation. For straight stair lifts, prices typically range from $3,000 to $6,000. Curved stair lifts are more expensive – costs can be anywhere between $10,000 and $15,000. Outdoor lifts will also cost more due to the customization needed for installation. To get a more accurate estimate of what a stair lift will cost, it's best to speak with a stair lift dealer near you.

How to choose the right stair lift for your home?

When it comes to choosing the right stair lift for your home, there are a few factors to consider. First, determine whether you need a straight or curved design. Second, think about any features you might want included in your stair lift such as accessibility options, safety sensors and swivel seats. Thirdly, decide what type of power source you’d like: battery powered lifts are generally quieter, while AC powered models offer a more continuous power supply. Finally, make sure the stair lift dealer you choose is certified and experienced in the installation of stair lifts.
When selecting a stair lift for your home, it's important to take into account your budget, lifestyle needs, and any additional features you might want. With the right stair lift, you can regain your independence and make your home more accessible.

Medicare and Medicaid coverage for stair lifts

Unfortunately, Original Medicare does not cover the cost of stair lifts. Because they are not viewed as DME, you will not receive coverage through Parts A & B. Medicaid policies vary from state to state. If you do receive coverage for stair lifts, it will be through the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers. Be sure to contact your local Medicaid office for more information on coverage.

Medicare Advantage coverage for stair lifts

Medicare Advantage plans may provide coverage for stair lifts as part of their supplemental benefits. These benefits are not available on all plans, so it’s important to check with your insurance plan provider before making a purchase. It is also important to consider what core health benefits you might be trading off in order to afford a stair lift.

Conclusion

Stair lifts can be an invaluable tool for anyone with limited mobility, allowing them to regain independence and have easier access to their home. When it comes to choosing the right stair lift for you, consider factors such as type, features, installation and cost. Unfortunately, Original Medicare does not cover the cost of stair lifts. Depending on your state, you may receive coverage through Medicaid or a Medicare Advantage plan. Be sure to contact your local Medicaid office and insurance provider to get more information on stair lift coverage. If you have any questions about your Medicare plan or coverage, don't hesitate to give us a call at 1-888-376-2028.

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