February 17, 2023

Duckworth, Blackburn, Casey Applaud CMS Decision to Cover Seat Elevation Systems in Power Wheelchairs Under Medicare


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Following their bipartisan request, U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Bob Casey (D-PA) issued the following joint statement after the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposal to provide Medicare coverage for seat elevation systems embedded in power wheelchairs for the first time ever:

“This new proposal from CMS is a big deal and will positively impact the lives of so many Americans with disabilities. We are pleased that CMS acted on our request to expand Medicare coverage for seat elevation systems in power wheelchairs, and once this proposal goes into effect, Americans with disabilities who rely on these systems to get around will have better access to the equipment they need to live fuller, healthier and more independent lives—all while lowering their out-of-pocket costs. We look forward to continuing to work with Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to build on this important effort so people with disabilities can have the dignity and support they deserve.”

Currently, Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities are forced to pay out of pocket for this life-changing durable medical equipment that helps power wheelchair users to independently conduct mobility-related activities of daily living (MRADLs). Many are outright denied access because they can’t afford such equipment out-of-pocket.

Duckworth, Blackburn and Casey have led the charge on this issue for years. In October 2021, the Senators requested that CMS act swiftly to provide Medicare coverage of standing and seat elevation systems embedded in power wheelchairs. Last year, they sent a follow up letter to CMS after the agency took steps to determine if Medicare should cover power seat elevation systems in August.