Looking for possible ways to get a mobility scooter free of charge, or at least at a reduced price? Below is a simple guide on how to get a free mobility scooter with information about the required documents and possible methods you can apply for!
What You'll Learn...
Step 1 — Obtain Proof of Need
The very first thing you should do if you want to get a free mobility scooter is to prove that you indeed need it.
Don’t take this step lightly; if you can’t acquire medical proof that you need a mobility scooter, it’s virtually impossible to get one for free or even with a reduced charge.
Yes, this is a crucial step, but it’s not that complicated to get done. All you need to do is visit a doctor who’ll examine you to evaluate your health condition and assess your physical limits to determine whether or not you medically require a mobility scooter.
The following points are among the criteria usually used to make such a decision:
1) Do you suffer from health or physical problems that restrict your movement outside and inside your residence?
2) Does using a walker or cane provide you with insufficient mobility aid? In other words, does your condition require further assistance?
3) Is it possible for you to enter and exit the scooter safely on your own? Or do you need help from someone else?
If the doctor doing the examination concludes that you meet those criteria, they’ll give you a prescription that recommends you use a mobility chair.
You may be wondering, “is it difficult to have a doctor sign off on your need for a mobility scooter?” and to that, the answer is not at all.
As long as you really need that scooter, any doctor would be happy to help you out with a prescription.
Remember, this step is crucial to qualify for a free mobility scooter, whether that process is through government or non-government methods.
Step 2 — Choose a Suitable Method
Below, we’re discussing various options through which you can get a mobility scooter free of charge, or at least without paying the full price.
How to Get a Free Mobility Scooter Via Government Programs
The following are methods sponsored by the government:
Medicare and Medicaid
Enrolling in Medicare Part B can qualify you for an almost-free mobility scooter. This is because Medicare will cover 80% of the cost.
You can pay the rest yourself or turn to supplemental insurance to pay it as well—for example, Medicaid.
Not only will Medicaid cover the remaining 20% of the price, but it can also pay the total cost of the mobility scooter if you’re part of a lower-income household.
An important thing to note here is that you should choose a mobility scooter that’s available through a registered provider in Medicare and Medicaid.
Additionally, the doctor who signed off on your prescription must be a participant in Medicare and Medicaid.
Despite being a federal program, a lot of decisions in Social Security regarding benefits are made at the state level, which means that every state has its own criteria for qualification.
This is why it’s tricky to find straightforward answers on how to get a free mobility scooter.
That being said, you could get what you need through two programs under the umbrella of Social Security, which are:
Social Security Disability Insurance
This program offers benefits to “insured” people who have spent enough time working and paying into social security.
Many of the elderly are automatically “insured” due to having worked and retired in the system (them or their spouse).
Supplemental Security Income
This program offers benefits to people who don’t have private insurance and whose household income is lower than a certain amount.
Although these are separate programs, their medical coverage conditions are the same.
As such, qualifying for coverage through one of them automatically makes you eligible for the other, resulting in paying the total cost of your mobility scooter.
Keep in mind that this method also requires a prescription from a valid doctor. Besides that, it’s worth noting that the Social Security route probably takes the longest time among all others.
So, if you can qualify for a free mobility scooter through a different government program, we recommend you resort to it first.
How to Get a Free Mobility Scooter Via Non-Government Programs
The following are methods sponsored by private, non-governmental parties:
Your Insurance Provider
If you have health insurance, your provider should be able to offer you a mobility scooter free of charge, given that you’re eligible under the relative terms.
As such, this “eligibility” completely depends on the policies set by the insurance company, which can be quite subjective.
If you’re not entirely sure whether or not you’re eligible for a mobility scooter as per your insurance policy, you should talk with one of the provider’s representatives.
Additionally, you may be able to have your doctor help file the paperwork and information required for presenting your claim.
What’s more, the majority of mobility scooter companies offer to facilitate the process for their customers by handling the documentation and procedures of your insurance claim.
These manufacturers are, of course, after profits as a top priority, but they can still be of help, especially with how the medical system is built.
Charities and Grants
Another way you can try to get a free mobility scooter is through charities and grants. These are grants made possible by community charities and social organizations that offer financial aid for patients to help them receive the medical care they need – which is a mobility scooter in today’s case.
Not only is the issuance of grants typically based on a “first-come, first-serve” rule, but also the availability of grants depends on the availability of sufficient funds in the charity.
This is why waiting lists are a thing if you opt for this route.
Wrapping it Up
There you have it, a simple guide on how to get a free mobility scooter. As you can tell, this matter requires a bit of further research on your part to find out the ideal method for your particular situation.