An essential part of many Medicare beneficiaries’ treatment is Durable medical equipment (DME) is equipment that is designed to last and can be used repeatedly. It is suitable for home use and includes wheelchairs, oxygen equipment, and hospital beds. (DME), such as wheelchairs and hospital beds. While Medicare covers most DMEs, it does not cover everything. Unfortunately, knee scooters are one of those DMEs that fall through the coverage cracks.
Why doesn’t Medicare cover knee scooters but they do cover wheelchairs and crutches? Is there another way to get a knee scooter covered? Please keep on reading and we will go over these concerns.
- A knee scooter allows you to move with a leg injury while keeping your hands open for daily activity.
- Knee scooters can be rented for around $30 a week or purchased for an average of $350 if needed.
- Medicare does not cover knee scooters because crutches and wheelchairs are already covered, which can suit any injury a knee scooter would be useful for.
- Medicaid is a public health insurance program that provides health care coverage to low-income families and individuals in the United States. can provide coverage for medical services and supplies for people with qualifying incomes.
- Medicaid coverage for knee scooters is not federally mandatory, so coverage will depend on your area’s Medicaid rules.
What Is A Knee Scooter?
A knee scooter, sometimes called a knee walker, is a scooter with a large pad that you rest your injured leg on, allowing you to move around despite your injury and without the need for cumbersome crutches. This also allows you to freely use your arms without having to rest one on a crutch and some knee scooters even come with baskets that can help you carry items when out shopping.1Mayoclinichealthsystem.org, “Rolling to recovery: Knee walkers a popular alternative to crutches“, Accessed January 5, 2022
- An ACL injury
- Bone fractures
- Torn meniscus
- Severe tendon inflammation
- Dislocated bones
- Muscular atrophy
The average cost of a knee scooter is about $350 for purchase. However, it would be more financially beneficial to rent a scooter for the time you need it. Many medical equipment retailers rent out mobility items such as canes and wheelchairs. Knee scooters can be rented for as low as $30 a week.3Rentakneewalker.org, “All Knee Walkers For Sale“, Accessed January 5, 2022
Why Doesn’t Medicare Cover Knee Scooters?
Medicare Part B is medical coverage for people with Original Medicare benefits. It covers doctor visits, preventative care, tests, durable medical equipment, and supplies. Medicare Part B pays 80 percent of most medically necessary healthcare services. covers the costs of renting or purchasing durable medical equipment (DME). However, a knee scooter does not meet the requirements for Medicare Part B coverage. It is considered a luxury item because crutches can serve the same purpose while being less expensive to cover.4Medicare.gov, “Durable medical equipment (DME) coverage“, Accessed January 5, 2022
Medicaid is a benefit program that helps qualifying beneficiaries with the costs of their medical services. While Medicaid has many services that are mandatory to cover under federal law, some services are state-dependent. Medicaid may offer coverage options that help with the cost of a knee scooter and other DME, but these are dependent on your state’s Medicaid rules.5Medicaid.gov, “Mandatory & Optional Medicaid Benefits“, Accessed January 5, 2022
Knee scooters are not covered by Medicare, but crutches and wheelchairs are available for any injury that a knee scooter would be helpful for. If you want a knee scooter and are unable to afford the cost of renting one, contact your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office to see if you qualify and if your state covers them.
You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) and ask a Medicare professional to get connected to your state’s Medicaid office. TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.
- 1Mayoclinichealthsystem.org, “Rolling to recovery: Knee walkers a popular alternative to crutches“, Accessed January 5, 2022
- 2Mayoclinic.org, “Knee pain: symptoms & causes“, Accessed January 5, 2022
- 3Rentakneewalker.org, “All Knee Walkers For Sale“, Accessed January 5, 2022
- 4Medicare.gov, “Durable medical equipment (DME) coverage“, Accessed January 5, 2022
- 5Medicaid.gov, “Mandatory & Optional Medicaid Benefits“, Accessed January 5, 2022