Tips for minimizing your motorized scooter costs

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 02, 2011

One of the most challenging aspects of aging is feeling like you are starting to lose your independence as you start to look into options to support your mobility like a motorized scooter or wheelchair lift. Of course, what you define as your independence might differ from what someone else defines as his or hers. While the causes might be different, when you get down to the heart of the matter, losing mobility is near the top of everyone’s list when it comes to the feeling of independence.

Are You Slowing Down?


It is a natural part of aging to start to slow down. You walk more slowly. Your reflexes are slower. In some cases, your thought processes and decision-making abilities might even slow down. If you add some sort of medical issue, like arthritis, into the mix, you might have the situation where assistance is needed to get around. If this is where you find yourself or a loved one, it might be time to consider a mobility scooter as a type of mobility aid.

What is a Mobility Scooter?


You have probably seen the advertisements in magazines or on television where a senior is buzzing about his neighborhood on a motorized scooter. This handy device puts power into your hands, as your body sits in comfort while navigating daily life.

There are also power wheelchairs that can serve the purpose of a mobility scooter in many circumstances. However, if you closely compare the design and range of motion of a power wheelchair to a motorized scooter, you may see that the scooter can provide you some added flexibility in movement.

Selecting Your Mobility Scooter Option


When the time comes that you recognize the need for assistance with your mobility, you might have questions as to which option best meets your needs and lifestyle. Your doctor can certainly help you evaluate whether a wheelchair or motorized scooter is more appropriate for your age and medical condition.

It is also important to consider your home and lifestyle when making your mobility scooter decision. You will need to consider what modifications, if any, will need to be made to your home in order to accommodate your scooter.

Getting your doctor involved in your mobility options is very important. Not only can he help you determine which option is most appropriate for your health, but he can be invaluable in reducing your out-of-pocket costs when it comes time to order your motorized scooter.

Minimizing Your Costs of a Motorized Scooter


There are several providers of mobility devices; all clamoring for your business by making claims that they can get you a motorized scooter for little to no money out of your pocket. This may indeed be possible, but you need to be careful in how you approach the purchase. Make sure you do your homework to understand exactly what the costs are, how much is covered by insurance, and how much you will have to pay.

If the reason you need mobility assistance is due to a qualifying medical condition, Medicare may cover up to 80% of the cost of your motorized scooter. In addition to the required medical condition, your lack of mobility must impact your ability to move about your home and perform everyday activities of living.

Visiting Your Doctor To Qualify for Motorized Scooter Coverage


This is where a visit to your doctor is so important. Your doctor’s evaluation of your medical condition and mobility become the starting point for qualifying for coverage of the cost of a mobility scooter. In fact, Medicare requires that you see your doctor for a mobility evaluation. The information from your mobility evaluation, along with a written prescription from your doctor, becomes the foundation for qualifying you for Medicare coverage of up to 80% of the cost of your scooter.

If you have supplemental insurance in addition to Medicare, it may cover some or all of the balance remaining after Medicare pays. In this situation you may indeed have no out-of-pocket costs for your scooter. Even without additional insurance, if you meet Medicare’s requirements for coverage, the most you would have to pay is 20% of the cost of your new scooter. That may be a small price to pay to regain your mobility and independence.

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