It’s easy to see that purchasing a wheelchair is not a small expenditure.
Fortunately, some programs can help people with reduced incomes to obtain low-cost or free wheelchairs.
If you need assistance, talk with your doctor and social worker for good referrals.
While it is possible to get insurance coverage to help with the purchase price of a wheelchair, it can be difficult to do so.
Generally speaking, it’s possible to get between 50% and 80% of wheelchair costs covered by a combination of private insurance and government programs.
To do this, you’ll need to get complete documentation of the need from your physician.
To get documentation, you’ll need to have an in-person visit with your doctor to get necessary for an exam and explain the need.
It can be helpful to know what sort of chair you have in mind in advance of this visit.
This will enable you to discuss the pros and cons and explore your options.
It’s also possible to save quite a bit of money by purchasing a used wheelchair.
Just like cars, wheelchairs lose a great deal of value as soon as you roll them off the lot.
If you’re planning to look for a used chair, be sure to get a certified wheelchair dealer to check it out, just as you would have a mechanic check out a used car before purchase.
Additionally, have your physical therapist look it over to ensure that it’s a good fit for you.
Keep in mind that if you decide to purchase a used wheelchair, you will probably not be able to get any assistance from your insurance company or any government agency.
In some instances, you may be able to deduct your costs for purchasing a used wheelchair from your taxes.
To do this, you would need to get a letter from your doctor documenting your need for a wheelchair.
Different Wheelchair Types – Different Prices
Generally speaking, wheelchair cost ranges from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
Just as when purchasing a car, the cost is influenced by the brand and features you choose.
It is possible to get a very basic manual wheelchair for as little as $100 to $300.
This is especially true with used chairs.
Transport chairs intended only for brief use can also be purchased quite inexpensively.
It is possible to buy a new, lightweight transport chair for as little as $135.
The next step up would be a medium-price chair ranging between $300 and $500.
This type of manual wheelchair would be a bit better quality and probably lighter weight than a basic chair.
Very lightweight, specialty manual wheelchairs can easily cost well over $500, especially with bespoke features, add-ons and materials.
It is important to note that wheelchairs, in general, are well-made, and the money spent is well spent.
You can expect your investment to last a lifetime.
Specialty and Custom Chairs are More Costly
Naturally, specialty wheelchairs are more expensive than basic manual or power wheelchairs.
For example, a super-light, ergonomic wheelchair that is specially designed and engineered to suit the needs and physiology of its use would be considerably more costly than any basic chair.
These wheelchairs are typically used by very active people and are designed to minimize the effort involved in maneuvering and operating the chair.
These chairs are typically made of strong, lightweight materials such as aircraft-grade aluminum and titanium.
A manual ergonomic chair may weigh under 20 pounds and yet have a cost of $1000.
Interestingly, a heavy-duty or bariatric wheelchair, much larger, heavier and made of sturdy steel, costs quite a bit less.
These chairs focus entirely on strength and durability and are intended to carry weight up to 700 pounds, yet it is possible to get a very good quality, new manual bariatric wheelchair for $300.
Pediatric wheelchairs, while naturally small for children, can be quite expensive depending upon the features needed for the child in question.
Pediatric wheelchairs come in both manual and power styles and range in price accordingly.
Tilt in Space wheelchairs enables the user to tilt the chair and adjust the chair back to the most comfortable angle.
This type of wheelchair can be had as a manual or motorized chair.
These chairs are very heavy, strong and durable and cost a minimum of about $1600.
Standing wheelchairs are also available as manual or power chairs.
These chairs allow the user to rise from a seated position to a standing position and perform tasks in a standing position.
Naturally, these chairs can be quite costly and are usually specially made to suit the individual.
An off-the-rack, basic standing wheelchair costs about $9000.