Medicare and Lift Chairs

Medicare provides a powerful service to many Americans. Signed into law in the 60’s by President Johnson, Medicare offers insurance to those over 65 and with certain disabilities. In the 80’s and 90’s it was very easy to get home medical equipment, such as lift chairs and mobility scooters, covered by Medicare. Recently Medicare decreased much of what is covered by their insurance.

Medical equipment falls into Part B of the Medicare program. Lift chairs are considered Durable Medical Equipment. Currently Medicare will only cover the cost of the actual lifting mechanism and not the chair itself. The actual amount of the reimbursement varies from state to state.

Generally you will have to purchase the chair up front, and then file a claim with Medicare in order to receive reimbursement. To qualify for the reimbursement you must suffer from severe arthritis of the knee or the hip, muscular dystrophy or from other muscular diseases. A physician must also prescribe the lift chair as a course of treatment that will either improve or slow the patient’s medical condition. In addition the patient must be able to walk on their own once in a standing position.

The lift chair itself must be one that can be operated by the patient and that operates smoothly. Some lift chairs utilize a spring to raise the patient and along with being unsafe, these types of lift chairs are not covered by Medicare.

The process of applying for reimbursement is actually very simple. All that is needed is a Certificate of Medical Necessity (CMN), a bill of sale, and a doctor’s prescription and signature on the CMN. Many times the place of purchase can provide the CMN form for you, so all you have to do is bring it to your doctor. Once you have all the paperwork you can send it to your States Medicare office and they will mail you a reimbursement check.