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Thread: Does Medicare cover new tires?

  1. #1
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    Does Medicare cover new tires?

    Not sure if this is the right forum for this question, but Chad's tires have no tread left and are really dinged up, esp in the back. Does Medicare cover new tires? And if so, do we get a prescription for them - from who, his primary care doctor? We don't have a physiatrist that he sees. Permobil C500 is his chair.
    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

  2. #2
    Ami,
    Hope this helps.
    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...VPixeFERCDDj9w

    All the best,
    GJ

  3. #3
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    Yes, thanks. It specifically calls out tires as covered. But it says the chair has to be Medicare purchased, which this was purchased by his insurance, prior to going on Medicare. So if I understood Sue Pendleton (and others) correctly in previous threads, if we replace the tires through Medicare that will start a new 5 year clock ticking for replacing the chair. E.g. if we replace the tires today, he can't get a new chair for 5 years from today. Any insight on that issue?
    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

  4. #4
    I think id start the process on getting a new chair since its so hard, buy the tires myself and save yourself drama. Rules change often, when they bought parts for my insurance chair I had to wait to get a new one from Medicare.
    If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.


    Sometimes it is easier to widen doors than it is to open minds.

  5. #5
    I have heard that Medicare guidelines will soon be going to every 7 years. I would start the process of a new chair now because 2013 and 2014 bring new changes to DME.

    I doubt you will get anything close to a Permobile under Medicare. Best to fix and maintain that chair and avoid the start of the timeframe under medicare
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  6. #6
    I just got a set of front and back tires which were covered by Medicare at 80 percent. I'm guessing that if Medicare bought the chair then yes they will cover them. They did for me. I have Medicare as my primary and Blue Cross as secondary. I'm not on Medicaid, not sure if Chad is or if it even makes a difference. I don't understand how it works if you're on both.

  7. #7
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    We want to keep him in his current chair as long as humanly possible because it has a seat elevator and light kit, both of which I know medicare won't fund. it also stands, which I believe they won't fund either. So I dont know that we want to start the process for a new chair, but on the other hand, if it takes forever to get a new one and this one poops out before then, we're hosed. This current chair is about 6 years old but other than needing new tires appears to be in flawless working order. We had to buy batteries for it once several years ago and probably would have to buy them again in the future. So the big question is whether to get the ball rolling for a subpar chair for when this chair reaches the end of its useful life... but I don't know when that would be. Could a well maintained chair last 10 years?
    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

  8. #8
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cara_m View Post
    I just got a set of front and back tires which were covered by Medicare at 80 percent. I'm guessing that if Medicare bought the chair then yes they will cover them. They did for me. I have Medicare as my primary and Blue Cross as secondary. I'm not on Medicaid, not sure if Chad is or if it even makes a difference. I don't understand how it works if you're on both.
    Cara - how much were the tires? Medicare did not buy this chair so they won't cover them unless we want to start a 5 year ticker on the chair being "new", which we probably don't want to do.
    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by zillazangel View Post
    We want to keep him in his current chair as long as humanly possible because it has a seat elevator and light kit, both of which I know medicare won't fund. it also stands, which I believe they won't fund either. So I dont know that we want to start the process for a new chair, but on the other hand, if it takes forever to get a new one and this one poops out before then, we're hosed. This current chair is about 6 years old but other than needing new tires appears to be in flawless working order. We had to buy batteries for it once several years ago and probably would have to buy them again in the future. So the big question is whether to get the ball rolling for a subpar chair for when this chair reaches the end of its useful life... but I don't know when that would be. Could a well maintained chair last 10 years?
    I have an Invacare Action Storm Series with Gearless/Brushless motors and tilt in space. The chair is 13 years old and works perfectly and looks almost new. I use it as my "lifeboat chair now." I have a new chair (3 years old) so I used my old chair for 10 years without a problem. I replaced wheels and casters once in 10 years, batteries twice, and chargers twice.

    I think SCI55+ went through the process of getting a new chair through Medicare. I think it was a Permobil. You might send him a PM as ask him about his experience.

    All the best,
    GJ

    All the best,
    GJ

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