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Does Medicare Pay for Wheelchair Ramps?

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Will Medicare pay for wheelchair ramps?

Handicap ramps are an essential part of inclusive mobility and make wheelchair users more independent.

So it’s natural to wonder if they’re covered by one of the most common insurance plans for seniors.

Let’s dig in and find out the answer!

READ MORE: 5 Best Traveling Wheelchair

Will Medicare Pay for a Wheelchair Ramp?

medicare eligibility form

In most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of a wheelchair ramp.

A licensed physician must determine a ramp to be immediately medically required in order for Medicare Part B to support the cost of “Durable Medical Equipment.”

While this is the case, certain Medicare Advantage plans may have exceptions to this rule.

Fortunately, there are other plan options for obtaining a wheelchair ramp that does not require you to make a significant difference for such additional coverage.

Medicare & Wheelchair-Ramp

When it comes to medical equipment, Medicare only covers specific devices under the coverage of DME (Durable Medical Equipment) conditions.

What, exactly, does that mean? Let’s find out.

Durable Medical Equipment From Medicare

Medicare’s Durable Medical Equipment Policy includes many mobility aids that enable people to move on their own without assistance.

Medicare does not cover walkers, canes, and crutches. In fact, in many cases, they won’t even cover wheelchairs, let alone wheelchair ramps.

We listed below what medical equipment Medicare Plan B reimburses.

  • Wheelchairs*
  • Crutches
  • Oxygen equipment
  • Canes used for walking

As mentioned above, in some cases Medicare will not cover wheelchairs if they don’t deem it “medically necessary.”

In other words, if you’re capable of walking- even if it causes you pain to do so- Medicare could reject your claim because, theoretically at least, you CAN get around without one.

Will Medicare EVER cover wheelchair ramps?

It is incredibly rare for Medicare to cover ramps. In fact, I’ve never met a single person who has managed to get them to pay for it.

However, that’s not to say that it’s 100% impossible, especially if your doctor advocates for you with your caseworker.

You can also check out Medicaid programs that provide services offered for wheelchair ramps.

  • Regular Medicaid
  • Home and Community Based Services Waivers (HCBS Waivers)

If you can’t get it covered, you’re stuck paying for it yourself. So, it helps to know the different types and roughly how much they cost. That way, you can budget for the expense.

Different Wheelchair Style Ramps

There are various styles of wheelchair ramps to meet your medical necessity, as well as the common styles people with disabilities prefer.

Whether it is temporary, permanent, or even portable ramps. The following are common wheelchair ramp styles, along with average prices based on offerings at major retailers.

  • Folding ramp. The hinges on these ramps make them easy to store and carry, as well as allowing people to move easily by wheelchairs. These can cost as little as $125.
  • Telescoping. Two independent metal channels are used to fold and expand. These types of ramps are portable and are used only for non-motorized vehicles. Expect to pay about $200+
  • Threshold ramps. Indoor and outdoor installations for curbs and doorways. Most 6-inch rise ramps are made from both metal and rubber. You can find them for under $100.
  • Modular. This lightweight and pre-manufactured ramp can be attached securely to an outdoor entryway. Generally, no building permit is required. They’re very expensive at $1,200+
  • Permanent wheelchair-ramp. This is a permanent ramp built with cement and metal which typically requires additional building permits to install. Hence, the most expensive (expect to pay $1500++).

How Can I Get a Free Wheelchair Ramp?

A portable or temporary ramp can be obtained by following other options as well. While Medicare won’t cover wheelchair ramps, there are other alternatives.

There are charitable organizations or non-profit organizations that provide wheelchair assistance for individuals.

Organization Assistance for Wheelchair Ramps

In order to receive financial assistance for a wheelchair ramp, there are the following health care providers for qualified individuals. Take a look at these organizations below:

  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • United Way

You can also consider other organizations that are helpful in your area and provide levels of care such as resolving mobility issues.

  • National Council on Independent Living
  • Rebuilding Together
  • Reeve Foundation
  • Corporation for National and Community Service

Wheelchair Ramp Rental

Ramp rentals are readily available across most locations of the country. They are generally often installed as part of these services.

Rental ramps could be an attractive option for circumstances when there is a short-term need, such as during physical rehabilitation or for chronic health conditions.

Low-income seniors who rent their house or are unsure how long they will live in it can also choose to rent one.

Rental or temporary is a convenient plan without a huge cost of labor yet with accurate measurements. Be sure to check with local authorities for building codes and regulations.

Home DIY Wheelchair Ramp Build

You can take an opportunity to have a DIY wheelchair-ramp installed at your home if you know someone who is skilled and handy. Use your creative minds to make yourself a home-installed ramp.

FAQs

Does Medicare Part B cover ramps?

medicare part b written in a board paper

No. Medicare Part B only covers a selection of authorized DME (durable medical equipment). Permanent home installations are prohibited, such as stairlifts, ramps, and walk-in tubs.

Does Medicare cover wheelchair portable ramps?

Ramps are not covered by Medicare. You can see DME for other authorized types of equipment.

How much does a wooden ramp cost?

Wooden ramps typically cost $100 to $250 for each linear foot depending on your medical equipment supplier.

Do insurance companies pay for wheelchair ramps?

Yes. When it is medically necessary, DME is able to cover wheelchair ramps.

Conclusion

In terms of frequency, Medicare does not normally provide funding for wheelchair ramps. The variety of needs that durable medical equipment meets is almost limitless, as is made clear by Medicare Part A hospital insurance and Part B Medical insurance, which are comprehensive in terms of the sorts of medical equipment they cover. If under care budget, you can also get affordable care and cheaper ramp alternatives.

References:

  • “2021 Wheelchair Ramp Cost | Handicap Ramp Cost Calculator.” 2021. Improvenet.com. 2021. https://www.improvenet.com/r/costs-and-prices/handicap-ramp-cost.
  • “Medicare.” 2019. Medicare & Medicare Advantage Info, Help and Enrollment. March 28, 2019. https://www.medicare.org/articles/does-medicare-cover-wheelchair-ramps-for-my-house/.
  • “Paying for Wheelchair Ramps: Medicare’s Benefits & Costs.” 2014. Payingforseniorcare.com. 2014. https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/financial-assistance/wheelchair-ramps-medicare.
  • “What Medicare Health Plans Cover | Medicare.” 2021. Medicare.gov. 2021. https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/what-medicare-health-plans-cover.
wooden wheelchair ramp

Will Medicare pay for wheelchair ramps? Please share your thoughts below!

About Claire Bonneau

Claire is registered nurse with experience in freelance medical writing. She is very passionate about geriatric nursing and seniors care and education (it is her favorite area of nursing). She worked with many seniors ina variety of medical settings to provide high-quality education and instructions about medical conditions and proper self-care. Follow her n LINKEDIN

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