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How to Find a Home Chair Lift You Can Afford

Reviewed and Updated by Troy Frink,

A chair lift (also called a stair lift or lift chair) is an assistive device that helps users go up and down stairs without having to climb. The user rides in a seat attached to a track, and the device glides up the staircase. Chair lifts can help people be more independent

Purchasing a lift chair for your home doesn’t have to be extremely expensive. Here are some ways to get financial assistance for home stair lifts.

How to Find Home Chair Lift Assistance

You may be eligible for federal and/or state financial assistance for purchasing and installing a lift chair. The best way to find out if you qualify for assistance is to apply for the various programs and ask what’s available. If you think you’re eligible, you can apply for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and veterans benefits.

Does Medicare cover stair lifts?

Original Medicare does not cover stair lifts*. However, certain private plans called Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans might. There are hundreds of Medicare Advantage plans available throughout the country, but they can all offer slightly different coverage. Additionally, not all plans will be available in your area. 

Medicare Part C plans can cover supplemental benefits that Original Medicare does not, including meal delivery, non-emergency medical transportation, and home health care

*Original Medicare may help pay for an elevating seat to help the rider sit and stand safely. The coverage may only cover the seat, which is considered to be durable medical equipment. According to Medicare, home chair lifts fall under home modifications, not durable medical equipment. 

Medicare Durable Medical Equipment

Will Medicaid pay for a lift chair?

Medicaid is a state and federal program that helps eligible people receive healthcare coverage. Your state’s Medicaid program may help pay for a lift chair if you qualify.

If you’re eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, you may qualify for a Dual Special Needs Plan (DSNP), which is a special type of Medicare Advantage plan that may have discounted premiums, copays, and/or coinsurance. 

A DSNP qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that allows you to make one change per quarter for the first three quarters of the year (January – September). You can make a change in your coverage during the fourth quarter (October – December), but only during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which is from October 15 – December 7. The change you make during AEP will take effect on January 1 of the following year. 

Stair Lifts for Disabled Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may help disabled veterans who cannot safely navigate stairs pay for a stair lift. The benefit applies to veterans whose disabilities are the result of their military service. You may need a home visit and skills evaluation before the VA approves your stair lift.

You may also qualify for VA benefits if you or your spouse is disabled and the disability is not the result of military service. Some veterans qualify for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, which may help pay for “care-related services.”

If you aren’t eligible for a lift chair due to service-related injuries, and you don’t qualify for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, local assistance programs called Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services may help. These are specific to local VA medical centers, and they help veterans live at home, rather than at nursing homes

Other Financial Assistance Options

Some states have assistance programs that help seniors and Medicare-eligibles stay at home, which may include home modifications. For example, you may qualify for low-interest or conditional loans from state assistive technology programs.  Note: not all states offer loans for assistive devices. You can also check with your local National Council on Aging (NCOA) office for information about assistive technology programs. 

Some long-term care insurance policies may cover stair lifts if it means that you can live at home, rather than transitioning to a long-term care facility. 

In addition, you may be able to save by looking for used stair lifts. Some manufacturers may offer financing so you don’t have to pay all at once.

Chair Lifts for Stairs With Landings

Chair lifts for stairs with landings come in a variety of configurations to accommodate different types of stairs. Most chair lifts fall into two categories: straight or curved. 

Straight Chair Lifts

Straight chair lifts only work on straight staircases without curves or corners. However, you can use multiple straight chair lifts on straight portions of your staircase with landings or turns. 

For example, one chair lift can go from the floor to the first landing. Then another can go from the first landing to the top of the stairs. 

The advantage to installing multiple chair lifts is that it can be less expensive than one curved lift chair. The disadvantage is that once you reach the first landing, you must get up and transfer to the second chair. The transfer may be unsafe for some people.

Curved Chair Lifts

Every staircase can be different, and to work, most curved chair lifts must be custom-fit to accommodate your home’s twists and turns. However, there are some common configurations that include: 

Top or Bottom Overrun: An overrun can be at the top, bottom, both ends of a staircase. The “overrun” is where the stair lift track extends past the staircase and onto the landing and/or the floor at the bottom of the stairs. This feature may make it easier for the user to sit into or stand up from the chair.

Intermediate Landing: An “intermediate landing” is a landing before the top of the stairs. Curved stair lifts can rise with the staircase, become level at the intermediate landing, then continue rising to the top of the stairs. 

90° Flat Landing: This is a type of staircase with a landing that has right-angle change of direction in the staircase. Like with the intermediate landing, the lift chair’s track travels up the staircase, levels out at the landing, then travels up again.

180° Flat Landing: The same as the 90° flat landing but the turn is 180° at the landing.

Spiral Stair Lift: These chair lifts feature tracks that curve around the entire length of a spiral or curved staircase.

The Best Stair Lift Brands

According to PayingForSeniorCare.com, some popular stair lift brands are: 

Get Coverage for Home Chair Lifts

Original Medicare does not offer coverage for home chair lifts. If you want help finding assistance for a home stair lift, one of our licensed agents may be able to help you find a Medicare Advantage plan, a long-term care policy, or other financial assistance. Our agents are highly trained and they can help you determine the right fit for your budget and medical needs. To schedule a no-cost, no-obligation appointment, call 1-844-431-1832 or contact us here today.

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