Wheelchair ramps help disabled people, especially the elderly. They can access social services, get in/out of the building, and do daily activities without much help.

These are also a great help during an emergency to enable medical staff to easily enter/exit a patient with disabilities from his/her house.

But building these ramps can cost you a lot. So, many people find it hard to make such a costly investment. However, you can leverage insurance benefits to get financial cover for building a removable wheelchair ramp outside your house. 

In this article, we guide you on how you can meet the financial requirements for ramps with the help of Medicare or Medicaid insurance.

Cost of building a ramp for wheelchair

Typically, a ramp construction price starts at $1,018 and goes up to $3,190. It would depend on the length of the ramp. While a short wheelchair ramp may be somewhere around $200, a longer one could go up to $8,000 or even higher.

Various factors impact the cost of building a wheelchair ramp. Some of these factors include:

  • Material
  • Weight Specifications
  • Handrails
  • Landings
  • Permits
  • Labor Cost
  • Tape or Grip Strips
  • Location

Medicare covers building wheelchair ramps

It is a health coverage program by the federal state to help senior citizens above 65 years of age. It is one common program for health coverage that many families consider meeting their healthcare needs. However, Medicare has strict requirements to cover an individual’s health-related equipment or house modifications.

The standard Medicare program comes under a policy for medical equipment. But as per this policy, a ramp payment is reimbursable strictly if it is vital for medical reasons. 

It means that an individual must have a strong medical reason along with a physician’s license to get this cover. So, it’s quite rare that traditional Medicare would cover for building or installation of a ramp for a wheelchair.

But, some Medicare Advantage (MA) plans under Medicare can meet the financial requirements for constructing a ramp. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2018 announced offering healthcare advantages to patients, including medical care-related home modifications. Before this, no provision was there to use this insurance cover for daily maintenance items and services.

But now MA can cover various healthcare-related modifications in a building or the purchase of medical equipment that could prevent injury. Therefore, wheelchair ramps could be funded under this cover, as per specific MA plans. 

Nonetheless, these plans only offer benefits to those who are chronically ill. Conditions that come under chronic illness according to this plan include:

  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cancer

A patient who needs these special benefits for healthcare needs to give a valid reason with proof of covering wheelchair ramp construction. They even need to prove how a ramp construction could improve their existing health conditions and provide them with everyday benefits. 

Hence, the new MA plans provide more flexibility to consider building a ramp under insurance cover.

Medicaid to help patients build a wheelchair ramp

Another vital healthcare insurance program to cover ramp building for individuals with disabilities is Medicaid. This federal insurance is particularly for senior patients with disabilities with low-income. You have to read the teams and conditions of Medicaid very carefully. It is because its policies vary in different states. Therefore, research about the policy thoroughly before applying for this insurance.

Medicaid is used by patients to gain the following advantages:

  • Standard Program of Medicaid
  • Nursing benefits at home
  • At home healthcare for a long term
  • Home and Community Based Services or HCBD Waivers

Most of the policies of Medicaid are similar to the guidelines mentioned by Medicare program. Such policies cover the buying and setting up of a ramp outside a patient’s house. So, one can avail of this cover even without any medical emergency.

Specific states offer HCBS waivers to meet the financial needs of building a complete ramp. As per this waiver, the ramps come under the category of home modifications required for avoiding or delaying medical emergencies. Thanks to this cover, patients gain financial benefits to set up and purchase a ramp.

Apart from these functions, there are more options to cover your financial needs to buy ramp for your living space. For instance, you may seek special financing covers, like nonprofit covers, elder care loans, or programs to offer assistance for veterans. 

All these programs are great for offering more home accessibility to patients while letting them age more comfortably.

However, all the information is advantageous for you only if you want to make use of Medicaid or Medicare insurance. But before you make the buying decision, you also have to check whether you are eligible to apply for these healthcare insurance programs. You can leverage the program’s benefits only after you are proven eligible.