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are all power chairs created equal?

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    are all power chairs created equal?

    Most of my (power) chairs throughout the years have been Permobils. It is time to replace the one I have, and I want to learn about different brands...it's been my understanding that Permobil is the "top of the line". Is this still correct?

    My first one lasted 8 1/2 yrs. and my current one is 7 1/2 yrs. old. Is this a typical life span for this brand? I know insurance companies supposedly pay for a new chair every 5 years but don't want to cough up the co-pay this often, if possible (the current one cost us about $10,000.)

    Mine needs a whole new control panel, back shell and wheels/tires, so we thought it better to just replace the whole thing.

    Thoughts/insight/experiences, anyone?




    "courage is fear that has said its prayers"

    #2
    Everyone should get a new chair every 5 years...It sounds like you dont understand the co pay...most DMEs understand that are community is on tight funds...so they write off the co pay

    I would say Permobil is a great brand but try an do your research and demo a few different brands and models at your home and then get end user feed back

    Never go 6 or 7 years with a chair because you miss out in new technology that will help smooth the ride and over come challenges

    Comment


    • jennypenny
      jennypenny commented
      Editing a comment
      the 3 businesses I've bought my 3 chairs from haven't done this. do I have to ask? and is the markeup so big that they can afford this?
      Last edited by jennypenny; 6 Oct 2021, 7:25 PM.

    • MikeP2020
      MikeP2020 commented
      Editing a comment
      We use to get Mama and my chairs at same time(Full Rehab, however never got seat lift) and 3 past DME's wrote off co-pays on 3 seperate 21st Century, Permobil, AmySystem and Pride products. All those Dme's have sold to, guess national companies. None of new owners say they will write off co-pays.
      Hence our insurance covered chairs are over 10 years old each.
      Any info on any national company that will write off co-pays I'd really appreciate.
      BTW: Maybe I'm asking DME's wrong, I ask/tell up front, trying to be honest with them and have been told "No" by all I've ask.
      Thanks!

    #3
    Originally posted by RollinPositive View Post
    .It sounds like you dont understand the co pay...most DMEs understand that are community is on tight funds...so they write off the co pay
    They might waive copay for you since your deeply involved with Permobil. Just like the free seat elevators. I'd like to hear from others, Who has had copay waived and/or free seat elevator?

    Supplemental (to Medicare) insurance will cover copay. The amount it covers equates to free insurance for that year.



    Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
    Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

    Comment


      #4
      I definitely want to hear from others who have had NuMotion waive the 20% copay because the power wheelchair is most definitely 45-55% above the out of pocket expense of buying the chair outright.
      Last edited by Califanna; 7 Oct 2021, 10:13 PM.

      Comment


        #5
        Depends how active you are. Some do alot of outdoor activity or gravel etc. so may go for a more rugged power chair like a bounder. The DME rep will push whatever brand he gets the biggest break on so do your homework and try out different chairs if you can; read and ask questions you have here.

        Remember you are the consumer, don't let them bulldog you into a chair that may not be right for you.

        Comment


          #6
          I would definitely here more about these DME's that waive the copy. I've never had that happen.

          Comment


            #7
            Originally posted by RollinPositive View Post
            Everyone should get a new chair every 5 years...It sounds like you dont understand the co pay...most DMEs understand that are community is on tight funds...so they write off the co pay

            I would say Permobil is a great brand but try an do your research and demo a few different brands and models at your home and then get end user feed back

            Never go 6 or 7 years with a chair because you miss out in new technology that will help smooth the ride and over come challenges

            I have no involvement in Permobil other then advocating and working with there VPs on both sides of the country with ordering issues when needed.

            It helps if one also understands Medicare and that at max after spending $3400 soon to lower to $3200 for 2022 everything after that is 100% covered so now as the year is ending is the best time to start a new chair process.

            I funded a group 4 chair a Permobil F5 under a Medicare Advantage plan @ 100% I only had to pay my deductible, I am not one that gets sick or uses much DME things so had I used more of my funds my out of pocket would have been lower but my cost less then $1000

            This includes seat elevation, lights, larger 24 batteries and the newer 3.5" joystick.


            Comment


              #8
              Originally posted by RollinPositive View Post


              I have no involvement in Permobil other then advocating and working with there VPs on both sides of the country with ordering issues when needed.

              It helps if one also understands Medicare and that at max after spending $3400 soon to lower to $3200 for 2022 everything after that is 100% covered so now as the year is ending is the best time to start a new chair process.

              I funded a group 4 chair a Permobil F5 under a Medicare Advantage plan @ 100% I only had to pay my deductible, I am not one that gets sick or uses much DME things so had I used more of my funds my out of pocket would have been lower but my cost less then $1000

              This includes seat elevation, lights, larger 24 batteries and the newer 3.5" joystick.

              I'm confused and mostly figure I am not reading this correctly.
              The 'Medicare and that at max after spending $3400 soon to lower to $3200 for 2022' is that like what I'm charged as the 20% to see doctors, treatments and test under Original Medicare?
              Or is it what I'm charged for my 20% at DME, like this year new batteries and mattresses under Medicare.
              Or is the $3,200 what max DME is suppose to charge as that deductible on new chair?
              I know I'm dense and mean no offense, it's just both Mama and I need to get serious about new chairs and I just plain don't understand.

              Comment


                #9

                "I funded a group 4 chair a Permobil F5 under a Medicare Advantage plan @ 100%"



                I posted this several times and want to clarify what I meant...

                I literally had someone email wanting to "scold" me vs really addressing her issues.

                We in our community have 2 options when it comes to funding with Medicare/Medicaid

                1st is to have the government manage your healthcare #2 to have private insurance companies manage it.

                with the government managing it there are no "perks" and you will always have out of pocket cost with no maximum.

                With private insurance companies it's super competitive and they all seem to upping what they offer to entice one to change


                One of the biggest "perks" to having companies like Blue Cross, Aetna, United Healthcare etc manage your Medicare/Medicaid is OOP cost


                Out of Pocket cost is a running total each year and this can change from year to year so as an example I posted I have Aetna Medicare Advantage and there out of pocket cost was $3400 for 2020 and that will lower to $3100


                Doctor visits, specialist, procedures, xrays, DME needs all come from this amount once I get to $3400 everything else becomes 100% paid by the insurance company for the remainder of the year.


                So those that use a need a lot of service can really make good on plans like this


                Those that have been stuck with large out of pocket cost for power chairs it can be a win too


                If you dont understand reach out to a licensed medicare insurance broker to come to your home and explain in person


                This person can also help you see if your DME is in network, also your doctors and hospitals are in network


                My experience also is that private insurance advantage plans have funded my mobility better than medicare


                With it being so competitive come companies are even funding back part of or all of the $148 paid from your social security to cover medicare


                Do your research you have till Dec 7th to make changes.




                Comment


                  #10
                  Originally posted by MikeP2020 View Post

                  I'm confused and mostly figure I am not reading this correctly.
                  The 'Medicare and that at max after spending $3400 soon to lower to $3200 for 2022' is that like what I'm charged as the 20% to see doctors, treatments and test under Original Medicare?
                  Or is it what I'm charged for my 20% at DME, like this year new batteries and mattresses under Medicare.
                  Or is the $3,200 what max DME is suppose to charge as that deductible on new chair?
                  I know I'm dense and mean no offense, it's just both Mama and I need to get serious about new chairs and I just plain don't understand.
                  Hey Mike we go back years with WCJ what I was talking about was Medicare Advantage plans...

                  With my Medicare Advantage plan I dont pay for doctor visits they are free...I pay $25 if i need a specialist

                  Batteries, tires, new bigger joystick I pay 20% of the medicare rate so batteries cost under $100, $1000 retail cost for the new 3.5" joystick cost me $80

                  If I get to the $3400 amount everything would be free from that point on

                  Message me if you need more explanation...

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Originally posted by RollinPositive View Post

                    Hey Mike we go back years with WCJ what I was talking about was Medicare Advantage plans...

                    With my Medicare Advantage plan I dont pay for doctor visits they are free...I pay $25 if i need a specialist

                    Batteries, tires, new bigger joystick I pay 20% of the medicare rate so batteries cost under $100, $1000 retail cost for the new 3.5" joystick cost me $80

                    If I get to the $3400 amount everything would be free from that point on

                    Message me if you need more explanation...
                    "Thank you" I was wondering what I was doing wrong and hoped you tell me what I was not understanding. I think I get it now, $3400 cap on out of pocket costs.
                    I sure miss owner/operator DME's, never had any co-payments on rehab powerchairs til after those DME's we dealt with all sold to big DME's.
                    Figure we will back our ears and give it a try again after first of the year.
                    I just have the original stand alone Medicare.
                    Again, "Thank you" for explaining.
                    Hope ya'll all have a "Happy and Great Holiday Season!"

                    Comment


                      #12
                      Originally posted by MikeP2020 View Post

                      "Thank you" I was wondering what I was doing wrong and hoped you tell me what I was not understanding. I think I get it now, $3400 cap on out of pocket costs.
                      I sure miss owner/operator DME's, never had any co-payments on rehab powerchairs til after those DME's we dealt with all sold to big DME's.
                      Figure we will back our ears and give it a try again after first of the year.
                      I just have the original stand alone Medicare.
                      Again, "Thank you" for explaining.
                      Hope ya'll all have a "Happy and Great Holiday Season!"
                      Let me know if you need help RollinPositive@gmail.com

                      Happy Holidays too!

                      Comment


                      • MikeP2020
                        MikeP2020 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        "Thank you!" Currently looking at those Advantage Plans during Medicare enrollment period. So reckon we will put chairs onhold til decide if sticking with just Medicare or picking one of those.
                        Thanks!
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