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Does Medicare Cover Lift Chairs?

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A lift chair is a motorized arm chair that can change positions, assisting the user into and out of the chair.

How can a lift chair help me?

Lift chairs for the elderly can help you stand up or help you lay back into a relaxing position. Some lift chairs can recline fully back to allow you to lie down and tilt steeply forward to help you get up. A lift chair for the elderly may be helpful for people who struggle to shift positions unassisted. Your doctor may prescribe a lift chair as medically necessary if you have a condition that could benefit from regular movement and your mobility would be difficult without the device.

Does Medicare cover lift chairs?

Lift chairs are available from both medical suppliers and commercial retailers. Medicare may cover the mechanical portion of a lift chair under certain conditions. Medicare Part B may cover durable medical equipment that

  • Can withstand repeated use
  • Is used for a medical reason
  • Is used in your home
  • Has an expected lifetime of at least 3 years
  • Is not usually useful to someone who isn’t sick or injured

You may be eligible for Medicare coverage of a lift chair if your doctor fills out a certificate of medical necessity and verifies that:

  • You have severe arthritis in your hip or knee
  • You have muscular dystrophy or another type of neuromuscular disease.
  • Your doctor determines that regular movement is medically necessary and that the seat lift may improve your condition or prevent it from getting worse. The lift chair must be prescribed as part of your treatment plan.
  • Because of your condition, you are unable to stand up and would otherwise be confined to a chair or bed without the equipment.
  • You’re able to control the seat lift yourself, the device operates smoothly, and the equipment helps you sit or stand without other help.

A lift chair is different from a patient lift, which Medicare Part B may also cover as durable medical equipment. A patient lift is like a small crane. It usually has a sling attached to an overheard arm which helps transfer a person from a bed to chair and back or to a wheelchair. Similar to lift chairs, your doctor must verify that the patient lift is medically necessary to improve your medical condition or keep it from worsening.

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