Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Dec 8, 2021

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The Lowdown

  • Original Medicare is unlikely to cover the cost of a chair lift for stairs, because chair lifts don’t meet Medicare’s definition of durable medical equipment
  • Medicare Advantage plans may provide coverage for chair lifts for stairs, but you will need to contact your plan provider to double-check
  • You may be able to obtain financial assistance from community programs or the VA if you can’t get lift chairs from Medicare

As you get older, or experience an injury or illness, it may become difficult to climb stairs. Chair lifts for stairs can offer assistance in getting up and down the stairs. However, chair lifts can be expensive. 

Does Medicare cover chair lifts for stairs? This depends on your Medicare plan, but it may be difficult to get coverage. Read more about how you may be able to get Medicare coverage and other financial assistance for a chair lift. 

If you want to buy health insurance, enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison to find affordable health insurance rates from companies near you.

Does Medicare cover chair lifts for stairs?

Will Medicare pay for a lift chair? Unfortunately, Original Medicare plans do not pay for chair lifts for stairs. This is because chair lifts do not typically fall under Medicare’s definition of durable medical equipment (DME).

DME medical supplies may include wheelchairs, walkers, or even patient lifts, which help someone move from a bed to a chair or other location. However, a chair lift is considered a home modification rather than DME equipment.

With that in mind, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be able to get coverage for a stairlift from Medicare. Providers have expanded their benefits since 2019, so getting in touch with your Advantage provider is the best way to find out if you can get lift chairs covered by Medicare.

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How much does a chair lift for stairs cost?

The cost of a chair lift can vary depending on your stair setup, the chair lift model you choose, and more.

If you’re buying a basic chair lift, you may end up paying between $2,000 and $5,000, including the cost of installation. If your stairs are curved, you may end up paying as high as $10,000 for a custom chair lift track.

Another option would be to rent a chair lift, which can be helpful for people recovering from a temporary injury or someone who plans to move into a home without stairs. However, renting a chair lift may cost between $300 and $500 per month.

Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to find any Medicare-approved lift chair dealers, but some popular companies that install chair lifts for stairs include Harmar, Handicare, Stannah, AmeriGlide, and more. 

Can I get help paying for a chair lift?

If you need a stairlift but can’t afford to pay for it out-of-pocket, and your Medicare plan will definitely not cover the expenses, you may need to search for other ways to get financial assistance for your chair lift.

If you’re a veteran, you may be able to get in touch with the VA or other organizations that help veterans. If you need a chair lift for a health reason related to military service, the VA may provide healthcare coverage after a home visit and skills evaluation test.

If you are a veteran that needs a chair lift for a health reason not related to military service, you may be able to receive the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit or get help from Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services.

Other grants for veterans include the HISA (Home Improvements and Structural Alterations) Grant, SHA (Special Home Adaptation) Grant, and SAH (Specially Adapted Housing) Grant. 

Most states also have programs that can provide financial assistance for non-veterans. The best place to begin looking for help is to contact your local Agency on Aging or a similar organization. 

If you need help finding a health insurance company near you, enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool below to compare health insurance quotes quickly and easily.

 

  1. https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/durable-medical-equipment-dme-coverage