If you think you need a manual wheelchair, first speak to your doctor or primary care provider (PCP). If your PCP determines that it is medically necessary that you use a manual wheelchair, they should sign an order, prescription, or certificate after a face-to-face office visit. The order should say the following:
- Your health makes it very hard to move around in your home, even with the help of a walker or cane
- It is difficult for you to perform activities of daily living (such as bathing and dressing) in your home
- You can safely use the wheelchair yourself, or always have someone to help you use it
- The wheelchair will help with a specific medical condition or injury and be used in the home
- And, you had a face-to-face meeting with the doctor
- This meeting should take place no more than six months before the prescription is written.
Note: Keep in mind that you can only receive Medicare coverage for one piece of equipment that addresses at-home mobility issues. Your PCP will determine whether or not you need a manual wheelchair or a different device based on your condition.
Once you have your PCP’s order or prescription, you must take it to the right supplier to get coverage. Be sure only to use suppliers with approval from Original Medicare or your Medicare Advantage Plan.