When it comes to buying new wheelchair vans, there can often be a lot more to consider than when you purchase a standard vehicle off a dealership lot. Not only is that because there are accessibility features to choose like transfer seats, tie downs and hand controls, but there are also other factors that may come into the equation like disability vehicle grants or disabled veterans benefits. That’s why the most common questions we get from customers browsing our inventory of handicapped accessible vehicles for sale are related to financing.
More specifically they inquire about outside financial assistance from health insurance companies like Medicare or Medicaid. So, do these companies provide assistance for a wheelchair van purchase? For example, will Medicaid pay for a wheelchair van? Unfortunately, the answer is usually no. But, let’s take a closer look at the answer to this question.
Let’s Start with the Basics: Medicare vs Medicaid
More than 100 million people in the United States are covered under Medicare and Medicaid programs combined. Both of these are government funded health insurance programs, but have varying qualifications for the people they cover. Medicare generally covers those who are over 65 years of age or people living with disabilities who are under 65 years of age. Medicare insures anyone no matter what their income level is. Anyone utilizing Medicare as their health insurance coverage, helps cover expenses by paying monthly premiums and deductibles towards medical services.
Medicaid, however, is only offered to individuals or families with very low incomes. The people this program covers often pay no costs for covered medical services, and often only a small co-payment towards many other services. Medicaid often follows many of the same policies as Medicare when it comes to covering necessary medical expenses.
While both programs are very similar in what they will or won’t cover when it comes to medical expenses, it is important to remember that coverage and eligibility can vary based on the state you live in. It is always best to check with Medicare or Medicaid to see if you are eligible for coverage and what they will or won’t cover on your behalf.
Health Insurance Coverage for Wheelchair Vans
There are many people living with mobility disabilities who rely on programs like Medicare and Medicaid for health insurance coverage. Many of these individuals are living with disabilities causing them to rely on a wheelchair and thus needing to have a wheelchair in order to maintain mobility. Because their wheelchair can be covered (or parts of it covered) by their health insurance program, it’s easy to see why wheelchair users or their caregivers may assume that a wheelchair van is also covered by their health insurance plan.
While this is generally not true, in some states and instances it may be possible for some conversion features to be covered. Medicare Part B covers medically necessary durable medical equipment (DME) as prescribed by a doctor. DME must meet strict criteria to be covered such as the ability to be used repeatedly, used for a medical reason, not useful for someone who is not sick or injured, and has a lifetime expectancy of at least three years. Often the DME must also be used within a person’s home, however some states may allow a doctor to prescribe wheelchair van conversion features like hand controls or transfer seats as medically necessary for a wheelchair user needing to drive themselves to appointments or to their job.
Other Financial Options for Wheelchair Vans
While health insurance coverage for a wheelchair van is highly unlikely for most wheelchair users to obtain, there are many other great options to help fund a wheelchair van. Some of these options include:
- Disability Nonprofit Grants. Nonprofit organizations like The ALS Association, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Multiple Sclerosis Association, the Paralyzed Veterans Association and many, many more like them may have grants available to assist wheelchair users in purchasing a wheelchair van or wheelchair van conversion. While these grants are only available for wheelchair users who are eligible based on their disability or other criteria, they are an incredibly valuable resource for wheelchair users when they are available to them.
- Veteran’s Affairs Funding. Veterans may be eligible for financial assistance towards a wheelchair van or wheelchair van conversion through the Veteran’s Affairs office. Paperwork is often required to determine eligibility and can be obtained at your local VA Offices. You can learn more about this here.
- State or County Grants. Wheelchair users may also be eligible for local grants made available through their State or the County they live in. These grants can be used for a variety of accessible conversions including making a person’s home more wheelchair accessible. These grants may not be available in all areas, but contacting your local government offices is a great way to determine if any grants are currently available or may become available in the near future.
- Financing. Wheelchair users that still need additional funds for a wheelchair van can take advantage of financing. At Rollx Vans, we offer financing that will help cover the cost of conversion features, where traditional financing may not. Our finance department can help answer any questions you may have about the financing we have available to wheelchair users.
Ready to Learn More?
Whether you are just starting to look into a possible wheelchair van purchase or you have already selected your base model from our inventory of new and used wheelchair vans for sale, our team is here to help you get started. Contact our team today to get connected with one of our experienced sales representatives. They are ready to help answer any questions you may have about Medicare and Medicaid funding for wheelchair van conversions, the disability nonprofit grants you may qualify for or financing for wheelchair vans. We can’t wait to help you and your loved ones hit the open road in your first or next wheelchair van.