Wheelchair Servicing, Upkeep, Etc

BlsdMama

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Is any type of servicing etc covered by insurance?

I need new rear tires and new foam pads at the elbows, as well as covers for the sidearm piece.

If none of this is covered, is there a I place to source them? I have the Permobil F5 VS if it matters.
 

swalker

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For my first wheelchair, a Permobil C500s VS that is very similar to your F5 VS, that was paid for by health insurance, all repairs so far have been covered by insurance.

I started off with a United Healthcare PPO policy. They paid for that wheelchair and have covered many thousands of dollars of repairs to it (motors, batteries, tires, switches, electrical components, etc.).

I am now on Medicare (Parts A and B) with a Supplement (Medigap) policy. I have not needed to have repairs done to that wheelchair through medicare yet, but have been told by NuMotion that Medicare now covers that chair and that repairs will be covered.

But, having insurance cover a repair is not always the most cost effective way to get a repair done. For example, when I first needed new tires, they quoted me almost $1,000 for the drive tires alone.

The tires only cost around $100 per pair, but NuMotion did not want to install the tires on the rims, so were going to charge me for an entire new set of wheels (tires and rims). I bought the tires separately and had a friend install them. My 20% copay at the time would have been $200, so I saved money buying just the tires without insurance helping out (insurance will only cover something bought through a DME).

I have found this to be the case for many parts. The prices are so inflated through NuMotion (and probably other DMEs) that buying them from a third party can cost less than my copay would be.

Of course, those parts don't have the Permobil warranty, but I have found the Permobil warranty to be virtually worthless. They offer a 90 day warranty and try to interpret that to mean 90 days from the time they ship the part to NuMotion. I have had several cases where the warranty was expired before NuMotion got around to fixing the wheelchair and making it ready for me to pick up.

Technically, Permobil's warranty has a provision for it starting after the repaired wheelchair is delivered to the customer, but they have always started off with claiming that an item is out of warranty because it has been over 90 days since they shipped the part to NuMotion.

Steve
 

old dog

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OMG, I have a Permobil M-300. The model must give you some idea of it's age. I'm not sure how long I've had it--would have to look it up--at least 5 years. I've never had anything done to it. I don't have a van, so it is used mainly inside the house. I use it to go outside and drive around the yard when weather permits. I'm glad to hear insurance may cover part of repairs, because I will have to eventually have new batteries. The original batteries still hold a charge.

Steve - In a previous post concerning wheelchair acquisition and repair, you mentioned low mileage. How do you find the mileage?
 

swalker

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On the older style joystick (wich your M 300 probably has) with an LCD display, there are two round buttons with orange icons on them located below the profile and mode buttons. Those are the two buttons that you can press to increase or decrease the wheelchair maximum speed.

If you press and hold those two round buttons simultaneously for a few seconds a different menu will be displayed. Use the joystick to scroll down to Distance. Then push the joystick to the right to select distance. This will show you the total distance and trip distance along with a few other items.

When you finish, use the joystick to scroll down to Exit and push the joystick right to exit from that level of menu. Once you have done that, you will be in the higher level menu that also has an Exit item on it. Use the joystick to navigate to it and then push the joystick right to select it. That should return you to the main display.

If you get lost in the menu tree, you can always cycle the power on the wheelchair to return you to the normal display.

Steve
 

JimInVA

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Darcey's wheelchair repairs were all pre-approved by insurance. The last repairs included a new battery, hand controls and armrests.

Also, our local MD Association (whom, here, work closely with the ALS community) provided a $500 Annual Reimbursement for repairs to equipment. So please check with your local MDA to see if such a program is available to you, too.

My best...

Jim
 

swalker

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Old Dog, here is a video that shows you how to access the distance menu on a Permobil wheelchair with an LCD joystick module.


Steve
 

old dog

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