Mobility aids are an integral part in the lives of many Medicare recipients. They can help someone maintain quality of life and independence. Mobility aids are used to help people who have trouble walking independently, and can include wheelchairs, walkers, or rollators. Each of these pieces of medical equipment may be used in different circumstances depending on the specific needs of the patient.
Rollators may also be referred to as “wheeled walkers” and can be beneficial for individuals who require walking assistance wherever they go. Medicare insurance may provide coverage for these tools when they are ordered by a Medicare-approved physician and are deemed medically necessary.
What is a Rollator?
A rollator is built like a walker, having a durable frame and three or four larger wheels at the base. Handlebars with comfortable grips are often included along with a seat that allows users to rest and take breaks as needed. Some of these products may include storage bags or baskets attached to the sides or front of the frame or a compartment that can be accessed by lifting the seat.
Rollators can differ in the features they come equipped with. One important feature for any rollator is adjustable handlebars. Selecting a product that can be adjusted to fit your height and arm requirements is critical to ensure both functionality and safety. Some products are adjustable to be used for children and adults alike.
Weight capacity should also be taken into consideration. The majority of standard rollators are designed to support up to 250 pounds, but other products have been tested and approved for up to 500 pounds. Additionally, some rollators may include handbrakes to increase safety. These brakes are easy to engage and can prevent your roller from sliding away as you try to stand up or while you are resting.
You can find rollators have additional design features. For instance, some include soft, large, grippy wheels that are ideal for indoor use and can protect your floors. Other models use wheels that are harder and more durable that allow for better traction on dirt, gravel, and other surfaces. Space is also taken into account, with some rollators being able to fold up to minimize storage needs while others do not collapse and are built for durability.
Medicare Coverage for Rollators
Medicare insurance provides coverage for rollators in most all cases. Rollators are included under Medicare’s list of covered durable medical equipment. Durable medical equipment (DME) is covered by Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), which helps cover the costs of medically necessary services and supplies and care received in an outpatient setting.
For a rollator to be paid for under Medicare coverage, the equipment must be deemed medically necessary. “Medically necessary” is defined as being supplies needed to diagnose or treat an illness, injury, condition, disease, or its symptoms. If a diagnosed condition requires that you have a walking aid, this must be determined and documented by your physician that is approved by Medicare. After their determination, they will provide you with a prescription for a rollator, which will allow you to qualify for coverage through your insurance plan. You will likely have to rent or purchase your rollator through a Medicare-approved supplier who accepts assignment and is currently participating in Medicare.
You will likely be responsible for 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount. You will be responsible for paying out of pocket until your annual deductible is met in addition to your premium payments, which are often due on a monthly basis.