Does Medical Insurance Cover Home Lifts in SA?

Home and stairlifts can offer persons with mobility impairments and disabilities a renewed sense of freedom and movement. Unfortunately, they can be pricey, burning the bridge of opportunity in this regard. What’s more, the initial price may not even include all the costs for services like installation, repairs and maintenance.  Asking the company questions surrounding…

Home and stairlifts can offer persons with mobility impairments and disabilities a renewed sense of freedom and movement. Unfortunately, they can be pricey, burning the bridge of opportunity in this regard. What’s more, the initial price may not even include all the costs for services like installation, repairs and maintenance. 

Asking the company questions surrounding these costs can therefore be useful, if not detrimental, before making a purchase. Not only could this information benefit your pockets, but it may also help your argument when it comes to any claims made to your medical aid. 

So, is there a black and white answer when it comes to home lift medical cover?

Whether you’ll be covered by insurance or not, will largely depend on your unique situation and the insurance which you have chosen. Although mobility impairment is often a distant concern when you are younger – and therefore not always something we prepare for – it is bound to affect all of us at some point or another. For this reason, it might be worth enquiring about this with your insurance provider sooner rather than later. 

In the process of improving the mobility of your home – whether it be for yourself or for someone else – it can help to know what to look out for. This way, you can make sure you are getting the best possible price, value and services.

Look for a lift company that offers you flexibility and quality

It’s important to find a company that can design your lift or stairlift according to your unique requirements. Not only will this ensure that you receive the right choice for you, but this might help you to stay within your budget, too – especially important in instances where your insurance won’t cover you.  

When it comes to quality, choosing a well-known and reputable lift company that produces high quality products could go miles in the eyes of your insurance provider. At the end of the day, fewer breakdowns equal lower costs for everyone. So look for a lift company which offers value at a reasonable cost. 

Consider convenience vs. necessity 

In the case that your insurance provider chooses not to cover you, the likely cause will be that they see lifts and stairlifts as somewhat a luxury and convenience – even though this certainly isn’t the case for everyone. In the unfortunate instance where they won’t cover you, you might want to weigh the costs of scaling down to a single-floor home vs. investing in a lift or stairlift. 

Ask about maintenance, repair and installation fees

Certain lift companies may seem more cost-effective at first, but turn out to cost you a lot more down the road because they have hidden fees. If possible, find a company that offers you routine checks, annual repairs, 24/7 support and callouts at a low cost. As a best case scenario, you might even find these services free of charge. 

Not only will routine checks and repairs prevent any hidden costs, but they will also be more attractive to your insurance company should you seek their support. In addition,  around the clock support from the lift company you choose is essential, as having your lift break down unexpectedly can be extremely stressful, disruptive or even life-threatening. 

When in doubt, dial a friend

It might also help to keep in mind that there are many others out there who are facing similar situations to you every single day. So when in doubt, seek out and speak to someone already familiar with mobility impairment or disabilities. A few examples could include a local organisation, helpline, online support group or a friend. 

This way, you can get first-hand support, knowledge and advice surrounding your plan going forward.