Does Medicare Cover Walkers?

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Russell Noga
by Russell Noga | Updated December 10th, 2023

Does Medicare Cover Walkers? IntroAs we age, maintaining mobility often requires additional support from walking aids. Understanding, “does Medicare cover walkers?” is crucial for seniors and their caregivers.

Join us as we explore the ins and outs of Medicare’s coverage for walkers, from types and requirements to costs and additional coverage options.


Key Takeaways

  • Medicare Part B provides coverage for walkers, with additional coverage potentially available through Medigap or Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Obtaining a walker requires a prescription from a Medicare-enrolled doctor and purchasing the item from an approved supplier.
  • Coverage is available for replacements, repairs, and other medically necessary items every five years when prescribed by a doctor.


Medicare’s Coverage of Walkers

Understanding Medicare’s coverage and its potential benefits can be a complex task.

Here are some key points to keep in mind regarding walkers and Medicare coverage:


Does Medicare Cover Walkers? Types of Walkers Covered by MedicareTypes of Walkers Covered by Medicare

The types of walkers covered by Medicare vary based on your unique needs and your doctor’s advice.

Rollator walkers, for example, are perfect for those with minimal mobility issues who need assistance with balance and stability.

These walkers come with a seat, providing a resting place for individuals who tire easily.

An upright walker, compared to traditional ones, is taller and offers more support for posture. These walkers have four wheels and a braking system similar to a rollator but with larger seats and either a basket or bag for carrying objects.

Upright walkers are especially beneficial for seniors with hand or wrist weakness, arthritis, or neurological deficits.

Standard walkers, which do not have wheels, are best suited for use in the home and are recommended for those with impaired balance and limited hand dexterity. These walkers have four non-skid legs fitted with rubber tips, providing stability and support.

Regardless of the type of walker required, the remaining 20% of the walker’s cost not covered by Medicare can be addressed by medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap, including a medicare supplement plan tailored to your needs.


Requirements for Walker Coverage

A prescription from a Medicare-enrolled doctor and purchasing the walker from a Medicare-approved supplier are prerequisites for walker coverage. Ensuring that the supplier is one that can accept Medicare assignment is critical to avoid additional charges beyond the Medicare-approved price.

It’s also important to consult with a Medicare-approved physician to ensure proper guidance and care.

Medicare covers walkers as part of ‘durable medical equipment’ (DME) provided they meet the requirements of being considered durable medical equipment and being deemed medically necessary by a doctor.

In addition, walkers may be rented or purchased through Medicare Part B or a Medicare Advantage Plan.


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Medicare Advantage and Supplement Plans

While Original Medicare covers walkers, additional medicare cover may be available through Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. These plans can help cover the remaining 20% of the walker’s cost that Medicare does not cover.

In fact, many people often wonder, “Does Medicare cover walkers?” and the answer is yes, but specific benefits vary by plan.Does Medicare Cover Walkers? Medicare Advantage and Supplement Plans

Coverage for walkers by Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Medicare Part C, mirrors that of Original Medicare Part A and Part B. If a walker is deemed medically necessary by a physician, Medicare will likely cover the majority of the cost.

Conversely, Medigap plans can contribute to walker coverage by covering specific out-of-pocket costs like Medicare deductibles and coinsurance, acting as supplementary medical insurance.


Obtaining a Walker Through Medicare

Securing a prescription from a Medicare-enrolled doctor is the first step in obtaining a walker through Medicare. This prescription will detail your medical need for the walker.

Next, you must purchase the walker from a Medicare-approved supplier. Remember to ensure that the supplier accepts Medicare assignment to avoid extra costs.

When procuring a walker, engaging in a detailed discussion with your provider and Medicare representative is necessary. Make sure to find out whether you must pay the entire cost upfront and be reimbursed by Medicare later, and whether the authorized DME company accepts the Medicare assignment as complete payment.

The official Medicare tool can assist you in locating Medicare-approved suppliers for walkers, among other durable medical equipment and medical supplies. This tool will help you find suppliers in your area and ensure that you’re working with a reputable medical equipment company.


Does Medicare Cover Walkers?

Costs Associated with Walkers and Medicare

The cost of a walker depends on factors like:

  • Model
  • Quality
  • Features
  • Supplier approval

After meeting the Part B deductible, Medicare covers 80% of the approved cost, while you are responsible for the remaining 20%. Additional coverage may be available through Medigap or Medicare Advantage plans, which can help with the portion of the cost that Medicare pay doesn’t cover.

Typical walker costs can range from $30 to $150, depending on the type and features. Remember, the extent of coverage by Medicare and supplementary plans can differ based on the individual’s medical needs and eligibility criteria.


Other Walking Aids and Medicare Coverage

Medicare also covers other walking aids, such as canes, if they are deemed medically necessary and prescribed by a doctor. Coverage for knee scooters may be available through certain Medicare Advantage or dual plans with Medicaid.

Discussing your specific needs with your doctor is crucial as they can guide you towards the most suitable walking aid and provide the required prescription for Medicare coverage.

Does Medicare Cover Walkers? Replacing or Repairing Your WalkerReplacing or Repairing Your Walker

Walker replacements, including repairs and replacement parts, are typically covered by Medicare every five years. Coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged walkers is also available.

To obtain a walker replacement, your primary care provider must issue a new order or prescription that outlines your medical requirement for the replacement.

Medicare will cover 80% of the repair costs if your physician determines the repairs to be medically necessary and the walker is from a Medicare-approved supplier. This includes replacement parts necessary for the repair.


Low-Cost and Free Walker Options

While Medicare doesn’t cover free walkers, community organizations and companies may offer low to no-cost options for refurbished medical equipment. Most states have medical equipment donation centers and community initiatives to assist those with financial constraints.

Contacting the specific community program directly to inquire about their eligibility criteria and application process is necessary to qualify for free or low-cost walkers. These programs can be an invaluable resource for those with limited financial means.

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Does Medicare Cover Walkers? summary

Navigating Medicare’s coverage of walkers can be complex, but understanding the types of walkers, coverage requirements, and additional options available can help you make informed decisions.

By working with your doctor and Medicare-approved suppliers, you can ensure that you receive the necessary support for maintaining mobility and independence.

Don’t let the complexities of Medicare hold you back—take control of your health today.

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Frequently Asked Questions


  What type of walkers will Medicare pay for?

Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage both provide coverage for medically necessary upright and standard walkers, available for purchase or rental.


  How much does Medicare pay on a walker with a seat?

Medicare pays 80% of the cost of a walker with a seat, with you responsible for the remaining 20%.


  How to get Medicare to pay for a upright walker?

To get Medicare to cover an upright walker, the walker must be medically necessary, prescribed by a doctor, and both parties must accept Medicare assignment. Additionally, it must also meet medical necessity criteria and cost-effectiveness assessments outlined on the Medicare website.


  Does Medicare pay for canes and walkers?

Yes, Medicare Part B covers walking canes and walkers prescribed by a doctor.


  Are there low-cost or free walker options available outside of Medicare?

Yes, there are low-cost or free walker options available outside of Medicare through organizations and companies that provide refurbished medical equipment.

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