Wondering what, if anything, your insurance might cover when it comes to the costs of a walking cane? Keep reading for more information!
The thought of needing a device to help with mobility can be daunting. Once you could move about your home and community with no trouble whatsoever. Now, you find yourself needing a little help getting around. There are many reasons why this might happen. It could be because of an accident, surgery, or just the aging process itself.
Walking canes are usually an entry-level mobility aid for most people. Canes help stabilize walking by providing a little added support. They are typically recommended when one side of the body is weaker than the other. Typical causes for this include strokes, hip surgery, and knee surgery. In any of these instances, you'll want to be sure that you already have an idea of how and where to get a walking cane.
Getting a Walking Cane
Usually, the process of getting a cane begins at your doctor's office. Sometimes, a physical therapist is involved. Your doctor will examine you, discuss your mobility problems, and write you a prescription for a cane.
The next step is to go pick out a cane. So, you take this prescription to your local medical equipment store. As you walk in, you may see several canes on display. However, some stores may only have a few to show you. The staff at the store will check your insurance benefits while you look.
Choosing a Cane
Now, here is where you might get a surprise you weren't expecting. If you are using your insurance benefits to pay for your new cane, you do NOT have your choice of any cane in the store. Because most insurance companies only pay $25 or less for a cane, your choice is limited to the most basic of canes. This cane will probably be black, with a basic curved handle, and a single rubber tip on the ground.
Maybe you offer to pay the difference to get the cane you like a little better. But, that may not be possible, especially if you are using Medicare to pay for your walking cane. While Medicare does have a process for upgrading canes, it is a confusing policy to understand and follow.
Getting the Cane You Really Want
For some people, settling for a basic cane may be ok. But, there are others who want a choice in the mobility products they use. Perhaps, they want something a little more fashionable. Or, maybe, they want a product that doesn't look so "medical". Still, others might want to make a statement with their cane.
Fortunately, there are tons of cane choices for seniors who want a better cane. But, you may have to forego using your insurance. Or, you could go ahead and get the basic cane through insurance. Then, choose another cane that you pay for yourself.
Shopping Online for More Stylish Canes
You will find some choice of products at local pharmacies or big box stores. These locations will have several styles and colors to choose from but the overall choice will still be limited. To get the most choice, you may need to shop online.
Specialty online retailers and online medical stores will offer a wider range of options. You will have nearly endless styles to choose from. These choices include many different handles and tips, not to mention a large variety of colors. You will find canes that are elegant, feminine, masculine, and even fun.
When shopping online for a walking cane, take the same precautions you would with any online purchase:
- Make sure the site and the checkout process are secure. The site address in the top bar should start with "https://..."
- Understand the return policy before buying a cane online. Ideally, you want to buy from a site that offers a "no-hassle" return policy.
- Read product reviews from actual users. Also, look for reviews of the site as a whole.
- Know the warranty for the product you choose. If you have a warranty claim, will the site handle that for you or leave you to deal with the manufacturer on your own?
Selecting the best cane for you and your needs is a personal decision. Some people are perfectly happy with a cane that just does its job. If that's you, the basic cane provided by your insurance company is probably fine.
But, some people want a cane that has a little more style, bling, extra features, or might even make a statement. These people will need to shop online for a cane that meets their particular needs. If this describes you, make sure to use a reputable website like Fashionable Canes when shopping online for a more stylish walking cane.