More than 50 years ago, the U.S. government created Medicare and Medicaid. The purpose was to help elderly or disabled people receive great medical care. As the population ages, a question has emerged about adults and aging in place. Will Medicaid pay for home modifications? Will Medicare pay for bathroom modifications? Here are some answers for you about Medicare, Medicaid, and home modifications.
What Is the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?
Both Medicare and Medicaid are health programs, but they cover two different populations. In some cases, you might qualify for both programs, depending on your income. Medicare is an insurance program for adults over 65. Medicare is also for adults who are disabled. Income is not a consideration for Medicare. Usually, Medicare covers the costs of hospital care and other patient services. You may have to pay a deductible, just like you would for a regular insurance program. Also, Medicare is a nationwide program, so it does not change from state to state.
Medicaid is different. It serves people who have low incomes and it doesn’t matter what their ages are. Usually, patients do not pay for most medical expenses. Sometimes, a patient might have to make a copay. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid programs differ from state to state. What one state covers another state might not.
Medicare and Home Modifications
You may be wondering if Medicare covers home modifications? Will Medicare pay for a home elevator? The answer to both of these questions is no. Medicare never pays for home modifications. Home modifications would include paying for a home elevator. Modifications also include changes to the entrances to your home, such as wheelchair ramps. Stair lifts are also not paid through Medicare.
This is true even if your doctor tells you that you need these modifications to live in your house safely. Your doctor could even write a prescription for you to cover the modifications. However, Medicare will still not cover them. There are ways that you can get at least some of the modifications paid for, however. Each state has an assistive technology program. These programs provide disabled citizens and their family members with technology that helps them remain at home. You may want to contact your state’s assistive technology program to see what it has available.
Medicaid and Home Modifications
After our answers regarding Medicare and home modifications, you may be wondering, “Does Medicaid pay for wheelchair ramps?” “What about other home modifications?” The answer is yes, but it depends on the state. Medicaid is not federally run therefore it is managed by individual states.
In most states, Medicaid will pay for adaptive technology that allows seniors to age in place. The program also allows people with disabilities to remain in their homes. You need to keep in mind that you or your family member has to be a low-income homeowner. You must qualify for Medicaid first before you can put any adaptive technology in place.
While Medicaid will most likely not pay for an elevator, it will pay for you to have a wheelchair ramp. It will also pay for stair lifts and modifications, such as grab bars in the bathroom and railings along staircases. It can be confusing. However, you need to find out exactly what your family member does or does not qualify for.
If you live in NJ and need help figuring out how much money you might have to pay for adaptive technology, contact us. We specialize in helping you cut through the red tape to get you what you need. Contact AIP Mobility Plus, in Chatham, N.J., in Morris County today. We can help make your home or the home of your loved one safer and more accessible.