Does Insurance Cover Stair Lift Purchases?

WrittenS. Danilinaand Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

Stair lift chairs provide mobility to the elderly and disabled who might have a hard time climbing up the stairs. A stair lift is a motorized chair that is attached to a rail that placed parallel to a standard staircase. Thus, families with elderly or disabled family members often wonder if their insurance company covers the cost of buying and installing a stair lift chair.

Unfortunately, Medicare, which is insurance that provided by the federal government for elder people, does not cover stair chair lifts. A stair chair lift is classified as a “home modification” by Medicare instead of a “durable medical equipment”. However, the federal government insurance Medicaid compensates for stair lifts, but only through merchants that have the cooperation agreement with Medicaid.

On the bright side, most private medical insurance companies cover at least some cost of buying a stair lift chair and its installation. However, maintenance, repair and associated alteration expenses are not covered by most of the insurance companies. Additionally, if any insured person needs to replace his or her stair lift chair, he or she will need to apply for insurance funding again. Contact your insurance company to make sure that your policy covers the cost of a stair chair lift or at least some portion of its cost.

Furthermore, if a family member who needs a stair chair lift is elderly, it is recommended to contact local agencies for aging programs. These agencies sometimes can use funds from the Older Americans Act to modify homes with stair chair lifts. Moreover, the Department of Housing and Urban Development sometimes offers grants for home modifications.

When an insurance claim for the purchase of a stair lift is submitted, an insured person needs to provide a justification statement from a medical professional. A justification statement needs to certify that the use of a stair lift chair provides certain benefits to a person with a medical condition, such as chronic illness. If a justification statement has not been provided, a submitted claim has a high chance of being rejected.

If the insurance company is not eager to compensate its policy holder for a stair lift chair, it is recommended to discuss this situation directly with the insurance agent. A policy holder and his or her family can advise the agent that a stair lift chair can prevent their insured person from falls and essentially help the insurance company to save money.

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