What Is A Stair Lift
A stair lift is a mechanical device that transports people up and down stairs. A rail is mounted to the treads of the stairs or the wall along the staircase, and a chair or lifting platform is then attached to the rail. A person sits in the chair and, with the touch of a button, the motorized device takes them up or down the stairs.
These devices come in a variety of designs, shapes, and sizes depending on your needs and your stairs. Relevant factors include how long the stairs are as well as if they are straight, curved, narrow, or wide. Seats on the lift include seatbelts and some feature motion sensors, call buttons, and braking systems.
Stair lifts are not to be confused with chair lifts, which are motorized platforms designated for people in wheelchairs. They are also not the same as lift chairs, which are like standard recliner chairs with an internal lifting system that elevates the chair forward to help a person go from a sit-to-stand position and vice versa.
Purchasing Used Stair Lifts
Unlike many home medical products, purchasing a stair lift used makes good sense. The designed lifespan for most stair lifts is approximately ten years, and the average stair lift is only used in the home for three years. For those paying out of pocket, buying used can save 25% 50% off of purchasing the product new. Buyers can expect a product price of between $500 and $1,500 for a used stair lift. It should be emphasized that unless one is buying from a professional refurbisher, this price very likely does not include installation.
One challenge, when buying used, is with curved staircases. It is much easier to match a straight staircase stair lift to a different house. With curved staircases, very few are exactly alike and buyers may be required to purchase additional pieces of track from the manufacturer to make the stair lift fit their home.
Does Medicaid Cover Chair Lifts For Stairs
Like Medicare coverage, Medicaid stair lift coverage depends on the state, and their requirements for medical equipment coverage. However, youre more than likely to get help through Medicaid.
HCBS waivers or Medicaid waivers cover home modifications.
States with Medicaid stairlifts coverage use Home and Community-Based Services waivers to provide Medicaid recipients with nursing level care.
Unlike Medicare, Medicaid works with state-based home modification programs. This gives Medicaid recipient health care on the same level as a nursing home.
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If Medicare Wont Cover My Stairlift And I Cant Afford It What Are Cheaper Options
Specialized handrails can be installed to assist traversing stairs. These handrails are thicker and sturdier than ordinary handrails. Because these handrails also require installation, they can be several hundred dollars and will not be covered by Medicare.
Another product that can help with stair navigation are small sturdy blocks that are added onto existing steps. These small steps reduce the height of each step, making ascending and descending easier. These also require installation and cost around $45/step on the low end.
Please note that these non-stair lift suggestions require some mobility in the lower body. If your knees and legs just arent up to the task, stairlifts are one of the few products available to meet that need. Perhaps, one day, robotic walking assistance technology will replace stairlifts altogether, but until that day arrives, stairlifts are the most effective way to maintain mobility and independence in a home with stairs. Theyre just frustratingly expensive.
Finally, when in doubt about what is or isnt covered by your Medicare plan, Medicare recommends the following:
Medicare Part B Costs
Medicare Part B is the portion of Medicare that pays for the lifting mechanism of the lift chair. With Part B, youll first need to meet your deductible, which is $203 in 2021.
Once youve met the deductible, youll pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for the lift mechanism. You will also pay 100 percent of the remaining cost of the chair.
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Does Medicare Cover Chair Lifts For Stairs
Will Medicare pay for a lift chair? Unfortunately, Original Medicare plans do not pay for chair lifts for stairs. This is because chair lifts do not typically fall under Medicares definition of durable medical equipment .
DME medical supplies may include wheelchairs, walkers, or even patient lifts, which help someone move from a bed to a chair or other location. However, a chair lift is considered a home modification rather than DME equipment.
With that in mind, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be able to get coverage for a stairlift from Medicare. Providers have expanded their benefits since 2019, so getting in touch with your Advantage provider is the best way to find out if you can get lift chairs covered by Medicare.
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Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover Stair Lifts
Medicare Supplement plans, or Medigap, help pay a variety of out-of-pocket costs in Original Medicare. To qualify, though, items must be covered by Parts A and B. This means that you cannot use your Medigap benefits to help pay for a stair lift.
Please note that you cannot have both a Medigap and a Medicare Advantage plan.
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How Do I Find Approved Lift Chairs Medicare Suppliers
Medicare has specific rules about coverage for lift chairs and other durable medical equipment. First, both the doctor who prescribes the equipment and the supplier who provides it must be enrolled in Medicare. Your doctor or other health care provider should be able to give you a list of approved suppliers in your area, or you can use the supplier locator tool on the Medicare website.
Depending on where you live, lift chairs and other devices may be under the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program. This is a cost-saving program that helps Medicare enrollees get the lowest prices on their covered devices. If you live in an area where the Competitive Bidding Program is in place, you can only get your lift chair from an approved supplier, even if there are other suppliers in the area that accept Medicare assignment.
Do you have more questions about Medicare coverage of lift chairs? Feel free to contact eHealthâs licensed insurance agents at the number below. Or just enter your zip code on this page to begin browsing plans.
Medicare information is everywhere. What is hard is knowing which information to trust. Because eHealthâs Medicare related content is compliant with CMS regulations, you can rest assured youâre getting accurate information so you can make the right decisions for your coverage.Read more to learn about our Compliance Program.
Does Medicare Cover Stairlifts
Medicare and private health insurance do not usually cover the cost of purchasing of a stair lift. Rather, the purchase of a stairlift is generally private pay. If you need financial assistance to purchase a stairlift, ask our Altamira experts about financing options.
Many authorized Bruno dealers offer stairlift financing plans that allow you to get your stair lift installed right away, but pay for it over an extended period of time. Paying for a stairlift at the time of installation is the most common and cost-effective method of purchasing, however, financing plans allow you to enjoy the comfort and safety of a stairlift without having to cover the entire cost at one time.
While Medicare and private insurance do not cover the cost of stairlifts, many Bruno dealers offer a variety of options that best fits your finances: full payment, payment plan. Talk to our experts today.
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Local And State Home Modification Assistance
Various local, state and nationwide organizations provide financial assistance to low-income seniors who need home adaptations like stair lifts because of illness or disability. For example, the Area Agencies on Aging are responsible for providing assistance through the Older Americans Act funds.
Some charities also assist financially vulnerable seniors with the costs of home modifications, and there may be grants available through your town’s department of community development. You can find resources in your area by entering your ZIP code on the Eldercare Locator website.
Area Agencies On Aging
Some Area Agencies on Aging may offer home modifications as part of the services that are provided. Depending on the area in which the individual lives, the program may offer home repair and modification services on a sliding scale or free of charge. The Eldercare Locator link will help you find your Area Agency on Aging.
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How To Qualify For A Medicare Lift Chair
You will need to be evaluated by a doctor who will write you a prescription for the chair.
Your doctor must determine that the power lift chair is medically necessary and that without it, you would likely be confined to a bed or chair.
Lift chairs are usually prescribed to assist patients with severe arthritis, muscular dystrophy or other neuromuscular diseases.
The form contains several questions about your condition that will determine your Medicare eligibility.
To qualify for partial reimbursement from Medicare, you generally must meet the following requirements:
- You have severe arthritis of the hip or knee or a severe neuromuscular disease.
- You cant stand up on your own from a regular chair.
- Without the lift chair, youd be confined to a bed or chair.
- Once standing, you can walk independently, even if you need the assistance of a walker or cane.
- You do not live in a skilled nursing facility, hospice or nursing home.
If you purchase your lift chair from a Medicare supplier, youll typically have to pay out-of-pocket for the chair and seek partial reimbursement from Medicare for the motor.
If the equipment supplier participates in Medicare, it will usually file a claim on your behalf. If the supplier doesnt file your claim, you can online.
After the claim is processed, youll be reimbursed for the portion covered by Medicare.
Does Medicare Cover Stair Lifts For Those With Disabilities
Stairlifts promise new freedom for you or your loved one with disabilities. The stairs in your own home no longer rise as an invisible fence, baring half the home. Finding the right stairlift is exciting, but there are some questions we should look at along the wayspecifically, questions involving Medicare, explains Columbus Walk-In Bath Solutions, a provider of handicap stairlifts in Columbus.
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Stair Lift Installation Costs
Many stair lift manufacturers include installation costs in the overall price and contract a technician to install the stair lift in your home. Otherwise, you should expect to pay between $75 and $100 per hour to have the lift professionally installed, or between $1,000 and $5,000 in total. You may need to pay more if your stairs are particularly steep or you require additional electrical or structural work, such as rewiring.
Are Stairlifts Covered By Medicare
Many seniors look to Medicare, the popular national health insurance program, to fund their stairlift purchases. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of stairlifts. While Medicare includes provisions for Durable Medical Equipment , typically stairlifts are not included in this category. So, if Medicare doesnt cover stairlifts, what funding options are available?
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What Are Lift Chairs
Lift chairs resemble a typical recliner you might already have in your home, but they are equipped with a motorized device that raises and gently tilts it forward to help you get to a standing position more easily. They are generally available in two-position and three-position styles. You may be able to find some infinite position chairs that let you customize the settings to one most comfortable for you.
Dont confuse a lift chair with a stair lift chair, which is a motorized chair that takes you up and down the stairs. Lift chairs are also different from patient lifts, which come in different forms and are used to help a caregiver or family member move you, for example, from a wheelchair to a bed.
Are Stair Lifts Tax Deductible
The answer to this question depends on a few factors. First, lets look at what a stair lift is and how it could be used. A stair lift is a motorized chair that helps individuals with mobility issues move up and down stairs. They can be installed in both private homes and public buildings.Now, lets look at the tax implications of purchasing and installing a stair lift. If you purchase a stair lift for your personal use in your home, it is not tax deductible. However, if you install a stair lift in your business as an accommodation for customers or employees with disabilities, then it may be tax deductible as a business expense.If you have any other questions about the tax implications of purchasing and installing a stair lift, we recommend speaking with your accountant or financial advisor.
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Do State Medicaid Plans Cover Stair Lifts
Unlike Medicare, which is a federal program, Medicaid is a health insurance program administered by states, under federal guidelines. When most people think of Medicaid benefits for the elderly, they assume its nursing home care only and most seniors want to avoid that!
The good news is that many states have applied for Medicaid Home and Community Based Services waivers. These waivers allow states to use Medicaid funds to help seniors remain in their own homes and communities for longer. That often provides better quality of life and its much less expensive than nursing home care. Some waivers cover home modifications and/or installation of assistive devices that increase home safety.
Since programs vary by state, check with your states Medicaid agency to see if you are eligible.
Medicare And Durable Medical Equipment
Durable Medical Equipment consists of things like wheelchairs, prosthesis, and adjustable beds. There are many types of equipment that falls into this category. In most cases, it is necessary to receive a doctors prescription for these devices. The prescription must state that it is medically necessary for the patient. Some types of medical equipment have specific requirements as well.
For instance, in order for a mobility scooter to be covered by Medicare, it must be necessary for use throughout the home. As a result, if the mobility scooter is only needed for use away from the home, it would not be covered.
Another device that has special requirements is the lift chair. These devices are used to lift an individual safely into the their feet and look similar to a recliner. The whole lift chair is not covered by Medicare, but instead only the part that actually raises the chair is covered.
For many devices, like lift chairs, it is necessary to get a prescription and a Certificate or Medical Necessity. A Certificate of Medical Necessity is basically a much more detailed prescription. The doctor must analyze the individuals physical ability and state that the equipment is required for medical reasons. In the case of a lift chair, the Certificate of Medical Necessity must state that they individual is not able to get out of any chairs in their home without assistance from others.
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Does The Veterans Administration Cover Chair Lifts For Stairs
Veterans Administration recipients only need approval before a chair lift for stairs is installed. If you need a stairlift for reasons unrelated to military service, the VA Aid and Attendance benefit will provide assistance.
Also, the VA has a program known as Veterans Directed Home and Community-Based Services . Its similar to the Medicaid program, but its more comprehensive.
What Will A Stair Lift Cost
The answer here will depend on the type of stair lift you choose, along with other factors, including:
- The 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 youre installing an outdoor stair lift, you might need to spend more money on weatherproofing.
Lets review: When it comes to stair lifts, Medicare isnt 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 todayand our expert staff will get to work on finding a mobility solution that works for you and your home.
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Does Medicare Cover Any Of The Costs For Buying Stairlifts
How Much Does A Chair Lift For Stairs Cost
The cost of a chair lift can vary depending on your stair setup, the chair lift model you choose, and more.
If youre buying a basic chair lift, you may end up paying between $2,000 and $5,000, including the cost of installation. If your stairs are curved, you may end up paying as high as $10,000 for a custom chair lift track.
Another option would be to rent a chair lift, which can be helpful for people recovering from a temporary injury or someone who plans to move into a home without stairs. However, renting a chair lift may cost between $300 and $500 per month.
Unfortunately, youre unlikely to find any Medicare-approved lift chair dealers, but some popular companies that install chair lifts for stairs include Harmar, Handicare, Stannah, AmeriGlide, and more.
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