Will Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance cover the cost of my stairlift?

This is possibly the most common question asked related to stairlifts.  Neither Medicare and Medicaid, nor private insurance cover the cost of stairlifts. Some carriers will say that they cover the cost of medical equipment leading you to think these are covered, but stairlifts generally labeled as a luxury and excluded from coverage.

At the same time, the VA has covered the cost of the stairlift and installation for some of its eligible veterans.  In some special situations, there have been exceptions made by the insurance providers, especially for children.

In some cases, where the mobility has been caused by an accident, auto insurance, state programs or workers compensation insurance may cover the stairlift in lieu of more expensive assisted living costs.

Next Step Mobility will support you with materials, technical specifications, or any other materials that could help you in your discussions with your insurance provider, apply through a waiver program, or a community sponsored benevolence or non-profit program.

Will my stairlift work when if the electric power goes out?

There is always the fear that your stairlift will leave you stranded during an electric power outage.  However, rest assured that your Next Step Mobility stairlift will operate during an outage because we only offer stairlifts that are battery powered.  A battery-powered stairlift can be used during electric power outages.  This functionality allows you to move downstairs in case you need to leave your home.  Batteries are charging when the stairlift is parked in its upper or lower charging stations when not in use, offering you a full charge at any time there is no power to the house.  In the event of an electric power outage, you can preserve as much of the battery power as possible by turning off the stairlift when not in use and turning it on only when needed.

Do we need to modify the walls or the house to install a stairlift?

There is a general expectation that the installation of a stairlift requires to modify your home.  Whether a straight or custom curved stairlift, the rail is anchored with special brackets and screws to the tread of the stairs.  There is no need to alter the walls, or make special modifications to your stairs to accommodate a stairlift.

What damage will the stairlift cause to my stairs?

Since the stairlift will be installed on your stairs, and the installation requires that we use screws to hold the feet in place, some visible marks will be noticeable when removing the stairlift.  At the same time, there is no structural compromise of your staircase and the function unaffected.  For carpeted staircases, the visible marks left from the installation could be minimal or none.  In other materials, such as hardwood, after removal of the stairlift, the holes left behind can be filled and stained to blend in with the stairs.

What do we need to consider when purchasing a used stairlift?

Can you save money by purchasing a used stairlift?  That is a trick question.  Will it work in your home?  More than likely not without additional costs.  In our experience, when purchasing a used stairlift, whether through a broker, an online auction or classifieds, you have to determine its condition and its value.  The situation is very similar as to buying anything that is not new.

The attractive lower price will mask the various issues you have to resolve prior to your use of the used stairlift in your home.  First, will it work when I get it at home?  Second, will it fit my staircase?  Last, who will install and service the unit if anything goes wrong?

The major obstacles to a satisfactory and successful purchase, installation and use of the stairlift will be many.  Your staircase is different from the one where the stairlift was originally installed.  Another element is to ensure you have all the components – rails, racks, chair, power pack, brackets, feet, bolts, charging strips, safety stops, charger, etc. – and that you will not need replacement parts.  In addition, batteries are a consumable item, so you will likely need a new set.

Now that you have ensured you have all the components, let’s address installation, service and warranty.  Most manufacturers will not offer a warranty unless a certified technician uninstalls and installs the stairlift.  That requires that you find a local certified technician for the particular brand that you are purchasing from a third party.

In short, sometimes the sweet taste of a low price is lost to the sting of the headaches and costs of making the used unit work.  Instead, we can offer you a new stairlift with full warranties and service starting at $3000.

What can I expect from the installation of a stairlift?

It is common for an installation of a straight stairlift to take about 3-4 hours.  A cause for the installation time to extend are more complex element such as a hinged rail, power slide rail, or other optional components.  Multi-level curved stairlifts with multiple call stations will indeed take more time and more resources.  Next Step Mobility will discuss with you the elements of the installation, the timing and duration, and the results you should expect.

Can you install the stairlift today?

In the case you need to install a stairlift now, Next Step Mobility carries inventory of the most common stairlift so we can install today or in the next few days.  We will guide you through a telephone evaluation to determine if we can fit a straight stairlift as quickly as possible.