If you plan to age in place in a multi level home you may come to the conclusion at some point that you need to make a home modification and install a stair lift to safely access the other floor(s) in your home.
But this can be an expensive project so what kind of financial assistance can you get to pay for adding a stair lift to your home? The answer is that you can look at what Medicare and Medicaid may cover, the VA if you are eligible, local and state programs and financing from the company you purchase the stair lift from.
What Is The Average Price For A Stair Lift?
On average, the purchase price of a chair lift can range anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 for a straight staircase. If you have a curved staircase you can probably expect to pay $10,000 or more.
The cost seems high, but considering the value that the stair lift gives seniors and disabled persons it makes the price tag much more reasonable. Also, it may be cheaper than moving into a single story home.
Where To Get Help Paying for Stair Lifts
There are several sources that you can look into that can provide you with financial help.
- Medicare may pay for a small portion with restrictions
- Medicaid in your state may pay for a portion
- The Veteran’s Administration (VA) may pay for a portion
- Local and state programs
- The company you purchase your stair lift from may also be able to help you to find some payment options that you may qualify for
Below are some details on each of these options.
Does Medicare Pay For Stair Lifts?
Sorry to say that as of January 2019, stair lifts are not considered to be Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and as a result, Medicare will not pay for it.
But, according to Payingforseniorcare.com , there may be a little bit of a loophole. It may not be one that you can take advantage of but nonetheless, you should be aware of it.
Original Medicare might pay for a small portion of the cost if the lift has an elevating seat, which helps the rider to sit down and get up from the chair safely.
However, such a feature would only be available in a high-end stair chair, which would cost considerably more than the amount original Medicare would reimburse the purchaser.
In other words, the amount of financial assistance would be less than the additional cost for a lift that has that feature.
But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find funding for it elsewhere. Below are some programs that you can look into which may be able to help you with the cost of the stair lift.
Will Medicaid Pay For Stair Lifts?
Since Medicaid is different in every state, it’s difficult to tell you if the state that you are living in (or the state your senior loved one lives in) will pay for a stair lift.
But, as again noted in PayingForSeniorCare.com Medicaid will likely cover the cost for medically necessary, stair lifts provided they enable individuals to remain living in their homes and avoid nursing home placement.
Check out our list of phone numbers to Medicaid offices in every state. Give them a call to find out if you can get some funding for your stair lift project.
Does Health Insurance Cover Stair Lifts?
Most standard health insurance policies do not, unfortunately, cover the cost of purchasing and installing a stair lift but some private ones may. Contact your insurance agent for more information.
But, as with most things – every policy and every insurance company is different so we do urge you to contact your insurance agent for the details of your particular policy.
“Some policies allow individuals to use benefits to cover home modifications.” – lifewaymobility.com
Will The VA Pay For Stair Lifts?
If you were in the military, you may be able to get funding from the Veteran’s Administration (VA), the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit.
As a veteran you can also apply for a grant from any of the following:
- SAH (Specially Adapted Housing) Grant
- SHA (Special Home Adaptation) Grant
- HISA (Home Improvements and Structural Alterations) Grant
State Assisted Programs in the USA
There are many state assisted programs through Medicaid that are very good resources to help you fund your stair lift project (and other needs as well).
Click here for a list of contact information for Medicaid programs in each US state.
In addition – there are other state assistance programs that may be able to help pay for your home modifications.
You can find a list of state programs here.
Stairlift Grant Available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Residents of England, Wales and Northern Ireland can apply for the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) which is provided for the purpose of making modifications to the home to make it safer for older adults and the disabled.
You will need a referral by a healthcare professional such as an Occupational Therapist or social care worker.
Contact your physician for more information.
In Store Financing
Stair lift companies like California Mobility provide financing, if required, through their partnership with R.T. Financial Services.
Are Stair Lifts Tax Deductible?
In order for any medical equipment to qualify for a tax deduction, it must be considered medically necessary. This means that you must have a prescription or written recommendation from your doctor.
Generally, most home modifications that are done for the purpose of making the home a safer environment for the senior who is aging in place can be tax deductible.
The bottom line is that there are options available for you to explore to help you to pay the purchase price and perhaps the installation of a stair lift in your home.
It’s one of the best ways to stay safe while you age in place in a multi level house.