Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers wheelchairs and power-operated vehicles (scooters) as durable medical equipment (DME) that your doctor prescribes for use in your home.
You must have a face-to-face examination and a written prescription from a doctor or other treating provider before Medicare covers a power wheelchair or scooter. Part B covers power wheelchairs only when they're medically necessary .
Your costs in Original Medicare
Things to know
You may have to get prior approval (known as “prior authorization”) for certain types of power wheelchairs before Medicare will cover the wheelchair cost.
Your DME supplier should:
- Request “prior authorization”
- Send the request and required documents to Medicare
You don’t need to do anything. If your physician prescribes one of these wheelchairs to you, your DME supplier will usually submit a prior authorization request and all documentation to Medicare on your behalf. Medicare will review the information to make sure that you’re eligible and meet all requirements for power wheelchair coverage. Your Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same, and you shouldn’t experience delays getting the items you need.
Your prior authorization request may be denied if:
- Medicare finds you don’t medically require a power wheelchair
- Medicare doesn’t get enough information to make a decision
If Medicare needs additional information, your DME supplier may resubmit your prior authorization request.