If you’re a senior with stairs in your home, you may be wondering if Medicare can help pay for the cost of a stairlift. Generally, no Medicare won’t cover a stairlift even if a doctor orders it.

But there may be times when Medicare does pay for a small portion. Also, one type of Medicare plan may help cover the cost.

Does Medicare cover stairlifts?

No, Original Medicare does not cover stairlifts. But one exception is the small portion of the cost of an elevating seat. Since the elevating seat helps you sit down and stand up safely, it’s considered a type of durable medical equipment (DME) and also a medical necessity instead of a home modification.

Medicare healthcare would reimburse you for a portion of the amount that the elevating seat costs. A Medigap plan covers when Medicare covers. So, if you have Medigap and need an elevating seat, that cost could be little to nothing. Although, you would still need to pay for the stairlift yourself.

How Much Does a Stairlift Cost with Medicare?

You’re responsible for the full cost of the stairlift since Medicare doesn’t cover them. You can expect a stairlift and installation to cost between $2,000 and $6,000 depending on your needs. A longer or spiral staircase will cost more. For example, a curved staircase stair-lift can cost upwards of $10,000.

A stairlift with a higher weight limit could cost more than a standard lift.

If you have Veterans Administration benefits or Medicaid, you may be able to get help covering the cost of your stairlift. Otherwise, you may need to pay the full price for your stairlift if the VA or Medicaid won’t help.

Renting a stairlift is another option, this usually costs around $300-$600 a month. You may also be able to finance the cost of a stairlift, paying it off in monthly installments.

Which Medicare Plans Cover Stairlifts?

There are some Medicare Advantage plans that cover stairlifts. Since Part C plan coverage changes depending on location, you’ll want to check the options in your area before you switch plans.

Also, consider if the Part C option makes the most sense long term. Paying for the stairlift yourself could prove cheaper than switching policies.

If you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, talk to your insurance provider to see if you have coverage for a stairlift. If your current policy doesn’t cover it, consider enrolling in a Part C policy that does cover stairlifts during the next Annual Enrollment Period or Open Enrollment Period.

FAQs

Does Medicare cover chairlifts?

It’s a complex answer, but in certain cases, you can receive partial coverage for a chairlift. The lift has to be medically necessary, the determination of which comes from a doctor. Then Medicare pays for the actual mechanism for the chairlift, but not the chair itself.

So while you can get some financial assistance from Medicare Part B, you will still be responsible for a sizable portion of the cost.

Does AARP Medicare Advantage cover stairlifts?

Stairlifts are often seen as a home modification rather than an absolute necessity, so Medicare Advantage plans generally will not extend benefits for a stairlift. But you can always check directly with AARP to determine eligibility.

Are stairlifts tax-deductible?

The only way in which you could claim a tax deduction on a stairlift is if a doctor deems it to be medically necessary to your quality of life. Anything outside of that would not be eligible for a tax deduction.

To be 100% sure though, consult a tax professional.

How much does a stairlift cost?

An exact price is impossible to nail down, but an installed stairlift can be as little as $2,000. If you have a spiral staircase, however, you could be looking at up to $15,000.

What is the difference between a stairlift and a chairlift?

The distinction might not take place in the name, but the main difference between a stairlift and a chairlift is its usage. A stairlift has a seat that transports a person upstairs while a chairlift lifts a person in a wheelchair to the next level of the home.

Either way, both improve accessibility and could be a cost-effective alternative to assisted living.

What are the benefits of a stairlift?

There are many benefits to having a stairlift. That includes being able to stay in your own home instead of a nursing home, preventing future injuries, and using while recovering from a current injury. Other benefits are ease of use, comfortability, and the maintenance of your independence.

Who can use a stairlift?

Usually, people using a stairlift are those who already depend on a wheelchair to move around. Otherwise, those with limited upward mobility could see the use of it. Technically speaking though, anyone can use a stairlift.

How much does it cost to install a stairlift?

This can be as pricey as the stairlift itself since the cost can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 for a standard stairlift installation.

This is because a new wall might have to be built, drywall repaired, and electrical work such as new or upgraded breakers and wiring.

What is the average cost of a stairlift?

For a standard staircase, the average cost of a stairlift sits around $4,000. But in truth, these devices can range from $2,000 all the way up to around $10,000 depending on the stairs in question.

You’ll need to compare the prices yourself to find the best deal on the one that fits your exact needs.

Does Medicaid cover stairlifts?

Medicaid will cover stairlifts in the same way as Medicare. However, from state to state, there may be a Home and Community-Based Services waiver. An HCBS waiver is a Medicaid non-entitlement program that could help financially with a home modification for those who truly need a stairlift inside their house.

How Do I Get a Medicare Policy That Covers Stairlifts?

Medicare Advantage plans in certain areas may cover stairlifts, but these plans aren’t available everywhere. There are no health insurance questions to enroll in Part C. You will need Medicare Part A and Part B.

Talk to an insurance agent today at the number above to see which plan options are available to you. You can fill out an online rate form to start comparing plans online now.

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by Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for Medigap.com. She's been contributing to many well-known publications as an industry expert since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.