An assistive device is anything that makes it possible for you to attend to the basics of living. The most common form of assistive device is a pair of reading glasses. Other tools include hearing aids, walkers, canes or wheelchairs.
One of the challenges when trying to finance an assistive device is when you have to define or explain your need to insurance professionals. You can reduce your worries and frustration by getting a prescription from your doctor for the device you need. It’s also a good idea to make yourself aware of the rules of major insurance providers. Medicare may cover your wheelchair purchase, but only the first version. If you need to move from a manual chair to a motorized, the second purchase will be your responsibility, so time your purchases as carefully as you can.
Getting a prescription is critical if you need to purchase hearing devices such as a hearing aid. Hearing aid technology expands year by year. Getting your hearing device covered may be a challenge. Hearing aids have come a long way since their invention in 1959, but not all insurance companies have kept up with those developments.
Durable Medical Equipment
Medicare will cover a significant portion of durable medical equipment purchases such as a wheelchair, walker or hearing aid. This definition includes products that are “used to serve a medical purpose,” and these types of devices are also ones that would not be of any use to you if you didn’t suffer from a physical illness or injury. For example, a broken leg may require the use of a wheelchair while it heals, but the user won’t need it after the injury heals.
Check All Sources
If you need a device and are struggling to get help from insurance, make sure to check other sources. State Medicaid programs will sometimes cover purchases that other payment programs won’t cover. Veteran’s health benefits can be used to cover some expenses. You may also be able to qualify for a grant for an assistive device from the manufacturer or apply for a no- or low-interest loan to cover the costs.
When you need an assistive device to attend to your daily needs, make sure you get a prescription. Take care to check the rules about any limitations on purchases and consider buying for future needs, particularly if you have a degenerative condition.
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