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 towards the cost of a stairlift addition in 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, stairlift costs 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 (and some parents may refuse to move).
Where To Get Help Paying for Stair Lifts
There are several sources that you can look into that can provide you with financial aid to help with stair lift costs.
- 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
Another simple solution may be to purchase or rent a used stair lift. It is worth checking with local stairlift companies to see if they sell used equipment. In addition, we have a list of where to buy new and used stair lifts here.
The following sections provide details on each of these options.
Does Medicare Pay For Stair Lifts?
When you are concerned about whether an elderly family member can afford a stairlift or other stair modifications, the first thing you probably think about is Medicare and whether they will help your parent out.
The short answer is “no.” Medicare considers stair lifts to be more of a luxury than a necessity, so they will not pay for them.
The good news is that they will cover a different kind of lift, however, called a Hoyer lift (Medicare calls this a “patient lift”). This type of lift is NOT for stairs, but it is very handy for helping a person transfer when they are unable to help themselves.
Keep in mind that you can ONLY get coverage for the cost of a Hoyer lift / patient lift if you get a prescription from a Medicare-enrolled doctor and purchase the mobility equipment from a Medicare-enrolled supplier. Also, you will have to pay the Part B deductible, plus 20 percent of the Medicare approved amount of the DME.
Ask both the doctor and the supplier if they are enrolled in Medicare BEFORE you purchase the equipment or the cost of the lift will not even be considered by Medicare claims.
Since Medicare won’t cover stairlifts, you might be able to find funding for stairlift installation 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 noted in PayingForSeniorCare.com Medicaid will likely cover the cost for medically necessary, stair lifts provided they enable individuals to remain living in their own home 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. cover the cost of purchasing and installing a stair lift but some private ones may.
As with most things – every policy and every insurance company is different so we urge you to find the phone number for your insurance agent and contact them for more information about 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, your military service benefits may get you some funding from the Veteran’s Administration (VA), the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit.
As a veteran you can also apply for financial help through government grants from any of the following:
- SAH Grant (Specially Adapted Housing)
- SHA Grant (Special Home Adaptation)
- HISA Grant (Home Improvements and Structural Alterations)
State Assisted Programs in the United States
There are many state assisted programs through Medicaid that are very good resources to help you fund your stair lift project, wheelchair ramps, and mobility aids (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 based on financial need that may be able to help pay for your home modifications.
You can find a list of state programs here.
Stairlift Grants 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.