The Cost Of Wheelchairs
| Wheelchairs vary almost as much as the individuals who require them. Though the cost can be significant, the |
chairs can provide mobility and independence. Be sure to talk to a doctor before purchasing a wheelchair, for help deciding what type of chair
is best. Typical costs:
| A standard, manual wheelchair costs an average of $500, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation . A chair meant for |
everyday use costs between $1,000 and $2,000 depending upon the features of the chair, which can include an individualized seat, various types of wheels and a lightweight frame. The Invacare Top End Crossfire All Terrain Rigid Wheelchair retails for about$1,900 and includes knobby, all-terrain wheels, a lightweight frame and a variety of color options. Costs for a power wheelchair vary tremendously, starting around $1,200-$1,500 and going as high as $30,000. One study, published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation ,evaluated 15 electric-
powered wheelchairs, with an average cost of $7,132. Costs for power wheelchairs vary based on features such as an individualized seat, longer battery life, ergonomic features and types of wheels. The Permobile C500 Lowrider costs about $10,000, with adjustable speeds, tight turning
radius, higher weight capacity and an estimated 25-mile battery range. Securing insurance coverage to purchase a wheelchair can be a
challenge. According to the Mobility Advisor , private insurers and government programs typically cover between 50 and 80 percent of the
costs. A physician will need to send documents proving that the patient requires a wheelchair.
|What should be included:|
| A basic manual wheelchair includes a seat, handles, arm rests, foot rests, manual brake, four tires and a frame. Assembly may be required. |
Extra features can include a specialized ergonomic seat, leg rests or a pouch for carrying personal belongings. A basic power wheelchair should
include a seat, handles, arm rests, foot rests, tires, a motor, power supply, battery and maneuvering device. Power wheelchair extras can include a specialized maneuvering device, extra batteries, neck support or a lift device to assist with transfer from the chair. Most wheelchairs are
covered by a warranty. Look for a chair with at least a three-year warranty. A physician, nurse or wheelchair company representative should
provide a tutorial on using the chair, including information on charging the batteries, set-up requirements and a maneuvering tutorial.
| Securing coverage under insurance or a government program such as Medicare for a wheelchair requires a face-to-face visit with a |
physician, to get documentation of the need for a wheelchair. Normal fees will apply and will vary depending upon the physician’s office and
geographic location. For those with insurance, typical coinsurance and copay rates range from $5 to $50 Though most power wheelchairs will
come with a battery, replacements will be required and can cost between $70 and $450 depending upon the type of wheelchair. A simple
wheelchair cushion made of foam costs about $7 while a neoprene rubber inflated wheelchair cushion designed to limit pressure point
tenderness can cost more than $500. It should be noted that no static air cushion on the market has a low- pressure warning device so they come
with extreme risk of springing a leak and completely deflating.
Nov 26, 2014 0 Comments