Medicare Requirements for Rollators
You can admit it, you have walker envy. It happens to the best of us. Especially with the rise of the new and durable rollator walkers, it is okay to admit that your old cane just is not doing the trick anymore.
Maybe you really need a new walker for your health but you are afraid that you just don’t have the money on your fixed income to afford a new model. Being caught between a tight budget and health concerns is something that millions of Americans deal with on a monthly basis.
That raises an important question. Are rollator walkers covered by Medicare?
The answer is, yes! There are some requirements to meet and potential fees to address but Medicare can and will cover the cost of your rollator walker if you qualify.
How much does Medicare pay for a rollator?
Some rollator walkers can be expensive, so how much will Medicare pay? As long as you meet the requirements, Medicare will pay 80% of the cost of your rollator walker. That means that at the time of purchase, you will be responsible for 20% of the Medicare-approved amount. The exact dollar amount will have to be determined by you, your doctor, your supplier, and Medicare at the time of purchase but the amount cannot be greater than 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the item being purchased.
If you have Medicare Part B, your deductible will apply to the purchase of the rollator walker. If you do not know what your deductible is or are confused about your Medicare costs in general, take a look at Medicare’s cost overview.
But, Medicare will only cover the 80% if all of the requirements are met.
What are the Medicare requirements to cover a rollator?
In order for Medicare to cover your new rollator walker, there are a few requirements that must first be met. If you do not follow Medicare’s strict requirements when going to claim a rollator walker on your plan, your claim will most likely be rejected. That can leave you strapped with the full cost of your new walker.
Not only that but if you receive a rollator walker from a doctor or supplier that is not enrolled with Medicare, there is no upper limit to what they can charge you. If that happens and your claim is denied, you could be left with a heaping bill that you cannot afford.
In order to avoid that unfortunate scenario, review and rereview the following requirements in order to make sure your rollator walker is covered by Medicare.
A. It must be prescribed
Unfortunately, simply having an achy hip does not meet the requirements for Medicare to cover the cost of a new rollator walker. In order for any walker, including rollator walkers, to be considered for coverage by Medicare it must first be prescribed by a doctor or other accepted treating provider. Yes, that means you must get an actual prescription for a walker in order for Medicare to even consider covering it.
B. The prescribing care provider must be enrolled with Medicare
Many people know whether or not their doctor is enrolled with Medicare. For anyone who uses Medicare regularly, chances are your doctor is enrolled in Medicare but it is always best to double check. If you are getting a prescription for a rollator walker from another healthcare provider such as a chiropractor or orthopedic clinic, they must also be enrolled with Medicare.
This can be an important distinction that has tripped people up in the past. Just because your referring doctor is enrolled with Medicare does not mean that the final prescriber is. That is a very important distinction to make. Ask, double check, and ask again about Medicare before you try and file a claim so you are not surprised by a rejection.
C. The supplier must be enrolled with Medicare
In the same way that the final prescriber of the prescription for a rollator walker must be enrolled with Medicare for the prescription to be covered, the supplier of the rollator walker must also be enrolled. If your doctor prescribes you a walker from a supplier that is not enrolled with Medicare, the claim will not be paid leaving you stuck with the full cost.
Rollator walkers are considered to be durable medical equipment (DME) by Medicare and they are covered. However, the supplier must be enrolled. Make sure that your prescription is for a rollator walker from a supplier who is affiliated with Medicare to ensure that your claim gets approved properly.
Medicare is emphatic that they will not pay claims from doctors or suppliers who are not enrolled. To ensure that your claims are filed properly and approved promptly keep Medicare’s requirements nearby and always ask the important questions of your doctor and supplier before getting DME. Medicare’s requirements can be referenced here.
As long as you follow these requirements correctly, you will be able to get the cost of your rollator walker easily covered by your Medicare plan. If for some reason, you feel as though your claims are being rejected or denied without proper cause, be sure to review your Medicare rights and fight for the coverage that you are owed.
If properly prescribed, all walkers including rollator walkers are covered by Medicare, and you are entitled to your 80% reduction in cost.
Soon, you can be comfortable moving around like you used to with a brand new rollator walker and you can finally kiss that old cane goodbye.