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I was recently diagnosed with a health condition that limits my mobility. These days I rely heavily on a wheelchair to get around. Unfortunately, I live in a two-story home, which has made moving freely difficult. I really don’t want to rely on other people or move to a one-story.
A stair lift is the only option I can think of to get up and down the stairs without someone’s help. I’m wondering, does Medicare cover stair lifts?
I want to keep my independence,
Renee from Chicago, Illinois
It’s clear and completely understandable that you want to keep your independence. I will do my best to answer your question and find solutions for you.
First, stair lifts are expensive, and pricing depends on whether you have a straight or curved staircase. A straight stair lift can cost between $3,400 and $5,500, while a curved stair lift can cost upward of $8,800 to $14,000. This can include installing a stair lift. Most people choose a stairlift between $4,000 and $4,500, so you might expect to pay this.
Unfortunately, Original Medicare does not cover stair lifts. So, this can be a costly out-of-pocket expense if you only have Original Medicare Parts A and B. You, like many, probably thought a stair lift would be covered under Part B Durable Medicare Equipment (DME). However, Original Medicare doesn’t consider a stair lift DME. Instead, they consider it a home modification.
“When deemed medically necessary, some Medicare Advantage plans cover some or all of the cost of a stair lift. Speak with a local licensed agent to find a plan with this benefit.“
Medicare Supplement plans won’t pay for a stair lift either. Because these plans only pay the out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare-approved supplies and services.
The good news is that some Medicare Advantage plans cover stair lifts when deemed medically necessary. A Medicare Advantage plan could cover some or all of the cost of a stair lift. It’s important to note that not all plans provide this benefit.
If this is a benefit you’d like covered, we suggest contacting a Connie Health agent in your community. They can research which plans offer the benefits you need at an affordable price—call (623) 223-8884 to speak with an agent.
If changing your plan is not of interest to you, then there are other options:
Many people understand that home modifications need to be done to age in place. So, there are many community-based services available.
We recommend that you reach out to your Local Area Agency on Aging. They distribute modification and repair funds provided by the Older Americans Act. Three of the 13 Planning Service Areas in Illinois have home modification services. However, the maximum per person for modifications is $500.
You should also contact other state agencies offering home modification grants, including your state’s Fall Prevention Coalition.
Applying for a grant could take more time and effort than you want, especially if you can find a Medicare Advantage plan that could cover some or all of the expense. We recommend you review all of your options. Contact your government and community resources, and a local agent to see if any Medicare Advantage plans fit your needs.
I hope this was helpful and answered your question about Medicare covering stair lifts. If you have additional questions or want to review plans—call (623) 223-8884 to speak with an agent. We’re here to support you throughout your entire Medicare journey.
No, Medicare Part B does not cover stair lifts. While you would think that stairlifts would fall under Part B’s Durable Medical Equipment (DME) coverage, Medicare categorizes stair lifts as a home modification. Medicare does not cover home modifications.
The only plan that offers partial or full stair lift coverage is a Medicare Advantage plan that provides the stair lift benefit. A Connie Health local licensed agent can help you search for plans that offer this benefit and fit your budget—call (623) 223-8884 to speak with an agent.
Original Medicare Parts A and B do not cover stair lifts. However, some Medicare Advantage plans will cover some or all of the equipment costs and stair lift installation. To find a Medicare Advantage plan that offers the stair lift benefit and works within your budget—call (623) 223-8884 to speak with an agent.
Some Medicare Advantage plans cover stair lifts, and the benefits vary. If you find a Medicare Advantage plan in your community that offers the benefit, it may cover some or all of the cost. A local licensed agent can help you discover which Medicare Advantage plans offer the stair lift benefit in your community—call (623) 223-8884 to speak with an agent.
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