For many Medicare recipients, mobility becomes an issue that can threaten one’s independence and ability to age in place. As people age, moving with ease become more difficult due to arthritis, osteoporosis, injuries, surgery, illness, poor eyesight, or loss of balance. Having the use of a mobility aid like a 4-wheel walker, or rollator, may mean that a person can remain independent and may not have to rely on outside help to get around and take part in daily activities.
You never know when mobility issues could become a hindrance to your daily life. That is why it is important for Medicare beneficiaries to have information about how Medicare Part B may help cover the expense of a 4-wheel walker.
Medicare Benefits for a 4-Wheel Walker
If you have Original Medicare Part B (medical insurance), you may have coverage for durable medical equipment such as walkers and rollators.
In order to be eligible for coverage, your health care provider must prescribe the equipment and certify that it is medically necessary. You are the only person who can use the equipment if it is prescribed for you. Your health care provider must accept Medicare assignment, otherwise Medicare may not cover this expense.
You can either purchase or rent the equipment from a supplier that accepts Medicare assignment. Medicare pays 80 percent of the Medicare-approved cost for purchase or rental. You are responsible for the remaining 20 percent as well as your Part B deductible. As of 2020, the Part B deductible is $198.00. This is a $13.00 increase from the 2019 deductible.
How Does a 4-Wheel Walker Help Mobility?
A 4-wheeled walker is also known as a rollator. It has four wheels that can rotate in a complete circle, and it has brakes and a seat attached to the frame. Some 4-wheeled walkers also come with attached baskets which are convenient for transporting small items.
Generally, 4-wheeled walkers are for people who do not need a weight-bearing walker, they are meant to assist people who have issues with balance. The fully rotating wheels on a rollator make this type of walker easier to maneuver and you do not have to lift it with each step as you would with a standard, weight-bearing walker. The seat on the walker makes it convenient for you to sit down for a rest during your walk.
Because of this type of walker’s easy movement with the fully rotating four wheels, it may not be a suitable walker for everyone. If you are considering one, you should discuss it with your health care provider and perhaps take one out for a test walk.
Cost of a 4-Wheel Walker
Rollators, or 4-wheel walkers, come in a wide range of models and prices. It is possible to find a very basic model for around $60.00, which is the national average price. But, if you want a model that is a bit higher end, you can find them for up to $700.00 across the country. Where you live, the model you choose, and where you shop for one makes a difference in the price you pay.
If you have coverage for durable medical equipment through your Medicare Part B benefits, you only have to pay a small percentage of the market price for a 4-wheel walker. Ask your health care provider for more information about 4-wheel walkers and whether there is a Medicare-approved supplier in your area if you feel this type of equipment is suitable for your needs.