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Assistive Technology in Health Care

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Private and public (Medicaid, Medicare, Children's Health Insurance Program) health insurance and managed care plans vary widely in paying for assistive technology devices such as durable medical equipment and services such as therapies.  Coverage depends on benefits packages, including dollar caps on specific benefits, and "medical necessity" in individual cases.  Assistive technology can be medically necessary to prevent, diagnose, alleviate, correct, eliminate, or cure the effects of a condition, illness, injury, or disability; prevent worsening or secondary conditions; and assist individuals to achieve, maintain, or improve their individual functional capacity in performing daily activities.  Available patient rights and protections when a plan denies a benefit also affect coverage.  The ultimate challenge for people with disabilities may be the most basic: obtaining health care coverage.

Best practice and advocacy resources:

  • Medicare Rights Center.

    Information about Medicare, including information on access to durable medical equipment.

         According to Gerontologist, up to 90 percent of older adults living with

         a disability in a retirement/eldercare/elderly community use some sort      

         of assistive technology. If you have a disability, there may be 

         resources available. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers

         monthly benefits for people of all ages with serious disabilities.

  • Consumers Union.

    Texans have New Tools When Choosing Health Care Plans.

  • AARP.

    Educated Health Care Choices: Making the System Work for You.

  • Institute for Child Health Policy.

    Evaluating Managed Care Plans for Children with Special Health Care Needs: A Purchaser's Tool.

  • Resna Catalyst Project.

    How services related to assistive technology are coded for reimbursement in public and private insurance and other helpful links.

  • Neighborhood Legal Services

    Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAATs)

  • Families, USA.

    National advocacy organization for health care reform.


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