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If Medicare Won’t Pay for My Stair Lift, Who Will?

Posted by Marx Medical Equipment on 5/22/19 7:38 AM

Eldery woman riding a stair lift in her home

It’s a question we hear quite frequently: Will Medicare pay for my stair lift?

And the quick, short answer is “No.”

However, we’d rather be helpful than just offer a quick yes or no.

And although Medicare does pay for “durable medical equipment” such as wheelchairs, when it comes to stair lifts, Medicare says “No.” That’s because it counts stair lifts as “home modifications,” which aren’t covered under the program.

Who can pay for my stair lift?

Stock photo showing Medicaid insuranceWho can I turn to for help with installing stair lifts? Medicare may be out of the question, but Medicaid is a different story.

Although the rules for Medicaid vary from state to state, but generally the program will help pay for stair lifts if installing one will allow you or a loved one remain at home (as opposed to moving to a long-term care facility).

To apply for Medicaid funding, you’ll need to fill out a Home and Community Based Services – or HCBS – waiver, which covers the cost of making the modifications to your home. This program is available to people receiving Medicaid in several states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Medicaid also runs a program known as Money Follows the Person, which allows nursing home residents to move in with family members.

In some cases, this program will cover stair lifts and other home modifications. This program is available in nearly every state outside of Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Alaska and Wyoming.

In addition to Medicaid, you might be able to find a state-based program to help you finance your stair lift. This list will offer up some details about what’s available in your state, but you may also want to consult with your Area Agency on Aging about stair lifts, Medicare and financing home modifications.

If I’m a veteran, can I get help with paying for my stair lift?

Senior VeteransPeople who have spent time in the U.S. military may be eligible for assistance from the U.S. Veterans Administration when it comes to paying for stair lifts.

If you or a loved one has a disability connected to your military service, VA healthcare may cover the cost of the stair lift. Speak to your local VA branch to schedule a home visit to start the process.

And even if your disability isn’t connected to your military service, veterans may still be eligible for programs like the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit as well as state-level programs like the Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services.

What will a stair lift cost?

The answer here will depend on the type of stair lift you choose, along with other factors, including:

  • Navigator Stair Lift for Curved StairsThe length of the staircase – Most stair lifts have enough track to handle 15 feet of steps. Longer stairways will mean buying more track.
  • The shape of the staircase – It costs more to install a lift on a curved staircase or one with multiple landings.
  • The weight of the stair lift users – Purchasing stair lifts designed for heavier people can add as much as $1,000 to the cost of the lift.
  • Outdoor use – If you’re installing an outdoor stair lift, you might need to spend more money on weatherproofing.

Let’s review:
When it comes to stair lifts, Medicare isn’t much help. But there are programs to assist you in paying for this home modification.

You can count on Marx Medical for advice as well. Our team is skilled at dealing with Medicare and Medicaid, so we can ensure you get the coverage you need for your new lift.

Contact us today and our expert staff will get to work on finding a mobility solution that works for you and your home.

Contact Marx Medical Equipment


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