Does Medicare Cover Knee Scooters?
- Find out if Medicare helps cover the cost of knee scooters and learn more about what knee scooters are used for in relation to medical conditions or injuries.
Knee scooters are mobility devices that help those suffering from knee injuries or recovering from knee surgery move around without straining the affected knee. The scooters are designed with padded knee rests and wheels that let individuals rest the affected knee and keep it elevated while using their free leg to push the scooter.
Specific knee scooter models can vary depending on the manufacturer, but most include handlebars with hand brakes for steering and stopping. The scooters are similar to traditional scooters with footrests, but the knee rests are elevated and padded to provide support and comfort. Additionally, some models are designed with baskets attached to the handlebars for convenience.
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Does Medicare Cover Knee Scooters?
Medicare recipients who undergo knee surgery or those dealing with injuries to the knees or legs following an accident may wonder if knee scooters are covered by Medicare. Medicare Part B does provide coverage for certain types of durable medical equipment (DME); however, knee scooters are not covered by the plan.
Possible Alternative Coverage Options
Knee scooters do not meet the coverage requirements for Original Medicare or Medicare Part B. However, Medicare Advantage plans and dual-eligibility plans of Medicare Advantage and Medicaid may offer coverage for some or all of the costs of certain mobility devices. Whether coverage will be provided depends on the specifics of each state and insurer, so it's best for recipients to contact their providers to learn more about available coverage and benefits.
DME Donation Centers
In addition to alternative coverage options, individuals in need of a no-cost or low-cost knee scooter may be able to obtain one through a non-profit organization that donates durable medical equipment (DME). For example, Rent a Knee Walker is an organization that accepts crutches, seated mobility scooters, knee scooters and other mobility equipment. It reconditions the equipment and donates it to Stepping Stone Medical Equipment Bank, an organization that distributes the scooters and mobility devices to those who need it the most.
Choosing Crutches or Knee Scooters
Crutches and knee scooters are both designed to help people stay mobile following surgery or injuries to the legs, knees or feet. A doctor may recommend a knee scooter over crutches if injuries or surgical procedures are significant or if the leg requires elevation throughout the day. Crutches are covered by Medicare Part B, making them a more affordable option than knee scooters. However, crutches require the user to have significant upper body strength and balance, which may not always be the case following surgery or severe injury.
What Is the Cost of Renting or Purchasing Knee Scooters?
The cost of purchasing or renting a knee scooter can vary slightly, depending on the specific model and whether the device is new or used. Renting a scooter is a cost-effective option for anyone who plans to use the device for less than six weeks. While prices may be higher or lower depending on the rental provider, the average cost of scooter rental is approximately $30 per week.
Individuals with limited mobility and those who require the use of a knee scooter on a more permanent basis may benefit better by purchasing a scooter for continual use. Depending on the make, model and special features, the average cost of a new knee scooter ranges between $175 and $450, while used or refurbished scooters can run as low as $100.
Can Patients Receive Prescriptions for Knee Scooters?
Prescriptions aren't required to purchase or rent a knee scooter. However, the scooters can be prescribed by physicians. Certain insurance companies may also require proof of prescription from patients who are looking to be reimbursed for scooter purchase or rental costs.