Does Medicare Cover Handicap Ramps?
While Original Medicare does not cover the cost of a wheelchair ramp, some Medicare Advantage plans cover home modifications. If Medicare Part B pays for your wheelchair, a Medicare Supplement plan (also called Medigap) could help pay your Medicare wheelchair coinsurance, which is typically 20% of the cost of the wheelchair.
While, Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not cover the cost of a wheelchair ramp, some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans cover home modifications designed to assist with “aging in place,” or continuing to live at home instead of in an assisted living facility.
If Medicare Part B pays for your wheelchair, a Medicare Supplement plan (also called Medigap) could help pay your Medicare wheelchair coinsurance, which is typically 20% of the cost of the wheelchair.
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How Much Does a Wheelchair Ramp Cost?
A wheelchair ramp that is professionally installed and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) costs around $2,000.1
The cost of a wheelchair ramp depends heavily on its length. A short ramp may cost only a few hundred dollars, while a very long ramp may cost several thousand dollars.
Other factors that may affect the cost of a wheelchair ramp include:
- Labor costs
- Materials used
- Amount of weight the ramp is designed to hold
It’s also possible to rent a wheelchair ramp, which may be more cost effective if not needed long term.
What Is the Ramp Standard for a Wheelchair?
Wheelchair ramps must meet a few specifications in order to be compliant with accessible design standards set by the ADA.
- Ramps must be at least 36 inches wide between the ramp’s handrails.
- Ramps must have a height of no more than 30 inches per run.
- Ramps must have a slope of no greater than one inch of height for every one foot of length.
Some Medicare Plans Pay for Wheelchair Ramps
Medicare Advantage plans were only approved to begin covering “non-medical supplemental benefits,” which include home modifications, in 2020. Today, more than half of all Medicare Advantage plans include at least some non-medical supplemental benefits.
The list of home modifications that may be covered by some Medicare Advantage plans include wheelchair ramps along with:
- Bathroom grab bars
- Hospital beds
- Walk-in bathtubs/roll-in showers
- Chair lifts doorway widening
- Toilet modifications
- Lighting adaptations
In addition to wheelchair ramps and other home modifications, benefits in this category can include transportation to doctor's appointments and pharmacies, personal care, meal preparation and delivery and more.
How Much Will Medicare Pay for a Wheelchair?
While wheelchair ramps are only covered by some Medicare Advantage plans, the wheelchairs themselves are classified as durable medical equipment (DME) and may be covered by Medicare Part B.
When Medicare Part B is used for a wheelchair purchase, you must first meet the annual Part B deductible of $240 per year in 2024. After that, you will owe 20% of the remaining cost of the Medicare-approved amount for the wheelchair.
The Medicare Part B deductible and coinsurance may be covered by a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan.
Two important things to remember about whether Medicare pays for wheelchairs and scooters:
- Your doctor or another health care provider must give you an exam and write a prescription for a wheelchair or a power-operated vehicle such as a scooter.
- You should rent or buy the equipment from a licensed medical device supplier who accepts Medicare assignment. This means they can only charge you the Medicare-approved amount for a wheelchair or scooter.
If a supplier doesn’t participate in Medicare and doesn’t accept Medicare assignment, they could charge any amount for your wheelchair.
Some wheelchairs may require prior authorization before Medicare will cover them.
How Often Will Medicare Pay for a Wheelchair?
Medicare will cover the cost of a new wheelchair typically once every five years, which is the standard “useful lifetime” of the wheelchair, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
If you rent a wheelchair for 13 months, ownership of the wheelchair will transfer to you the 13th month ends.
Resources for Wheelchairs and Wheelchair Ramp Assistance
There are several resources available for those in need of cost assistance for a wheelchair or wheelchair ramp.
Compare Medigap plans in your area.Find a plan
Or call now to speak with a licensed insurance agent:
HomeAdvisor. (Dec 13, 2022). How Much Does It Cost To Build A Wheelchair Ramp? https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/environmental-safety/build-a-disability-ramp.