American Amputee – Wheelchair Providers

Who to Contact about Funding Your Wheelchair

wheelchairThe person you work with to get funding for your wheelchair will depend on your funding source. For example, if your health coverage is from an insurance company, you might be dealing directly with an adjuster. Your contact person may not have much power to make independent decisions. Her job will be to apply the company/agency policies to each case, to follow the rules. She will probably have quite a load of cases, so it will be literally impossible for her to learn much about you, to remember the details of your case, or to take time to do much research into your needs. Her training is focused on the taught some things about medical equipment, she probably will not be well versed in the details of wheelchair selection.

Not everyone will fit this model, but you will want to get to know your contact person, and do your best to understand her background. You don’t want to make an enemy of this person, if you can help it. She has a lot of influence over your life. At the same time, she might represent an obstacle to getting what you need, and it may be necessary to speak to a supervisor in order to make sure all possibilities have been explored.

It is increasingly common for insurance companies and funding agencies to assign your file to a case manager. The case manager should be your advocate, putting your medical interests first above all. He may or may not be a nurse, or otherwise medically experienced. Your case manager will talk with doctors and therapists, confirm the policies and limits of your coverage, shop for the best prices (which is part of what makes case managers appealing to the insurer), and even contact social workers to seek out additional sources of funding or equipment if the policy does not cover you.

Sometimes case managers are on staff, or the insurer might have a contract with an outside provider of these services. If there is not a case manager assigned to you, ask for one. You do not have a legal right to a case manager, but it’s likely your request will be granted, especially if you are pleasantly persistent. If possible, try to get a case manager with specific background in rehabilitation equipment and your specific disability.