Assistive Technology

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Options for Paying for Assistive Technology

Everyday, we all use assistive technology in some form. For some of us, a more sophisticated or creative type of assistive technology may become necessary to remain as independent as possible in the environment we want to live in. Many times, physicians and/or physical, occupational, and speech therapists may recommend various types of assistive technology for us to use but the burning question for many is “How am I ever going to pay for this?”

Medicare

Will cover certain types of assistive technology known as durable medical equipment. This is part of your part B coverage with Medicare. Medicare may cover equipment such as canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, commodes, hospital beds, and lifts. For more information on what Medicare may cover you can call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to www.medicare.gov.

Medicaid 

Will also cover some types of assistive technology. A prior authorization may be required prior to coverage being approved. For questions regarding Medicaid coverage of a specific item, you can call Recipient Services at 1-800-362-3002.

Supplemental Insurance

May also cover some types of assistive technology. It is best to check with your specific insurance carrier on what your specific policy covers, as this varies.

Aging & Disability Resource Center

May be able to assist with the cost of assistive technology through the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP). Limited funding is available to those 60 years of age or older, persons with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia at any age, and/or grandparents or relatives caregivers 55 and older who are caring for children 18 and under, and relative caregivers of an adult child ages 19-59 with a disability. The Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver Support Program (AFCSP) may be able to assist with the cost. To qualify, an individual must have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or irreversible dementia and an annual household income of $40,000 or less. Contact the ADRC at 715-726-7777.

Managed Care or IRIS 

For those enrolled in managed care or enrolled in IRIS, these programs may be able to assist with the cost of assistive technology. For those enrolled in Managed Care, consult with your team about the use of assistive technology and how it may benefit you. For those enrolled with IRIS, discuss with your independent consultant regarding the use of part of your budget for assistive technology.

WisLoan

Is a program for anyone in the State of Wisconsin with a disabilitywho wishes to purchase assistive technology, adaptive equipment or make accessible modifications to their home. This is a low interest loan program. You can apply for WisLoan by contacting the Center for Independent Living at (715) 514-4200 (Eau Claire); (715) 233-1070 (Menomonie); or (715) 736-1800 (Rice Lake).

TEPP (Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program)

Is a voucher program for those in need of adaptive telephone equipment. Any Wisconsin resident who is deaf, hard of hearing, deaf with low vision, deaf blind, has a speech impairment, or has a mobility impairment can apply for a specific voucher category. For an application you can contact (608) 267-1479 or go to https://tepp.wipfli.com.

Veteran’s Administration 

Individuals who are eligible for veterans’ benefits should look into whether they can receive assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Contact your local VA office at veterans@co.chippewa.wi.us or call 715726-7990.

  • IRS Deductions/Flex Plans
  • Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Employers/Schools
  • Private Foundations
  • Charities
  • WI Department of Hard of Hearing
  • WI Department of Visually Impaired

Get Creative!

Going to a local hardware store, you may be able to find things to use as assistive technology for a reasonable cost. For examples and ideas, please feel free to contact the Aging & Disability Resource Center at (715) 726-7777; Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute (715) 232-2513; or Center for Independent Living at (715) 514-4200 (Eau Claire), (715) 233-1070 (Menomonie), or (715) 736-1800 (Rice Lake).

Assistive Technology Kit Available!

The Aging & Disability Resource Center has an assistive technology kit available. The kit is filled with various types of assistive technology. It is designated to help our consumers and their caregivers see what is out there for assistive technology. Feel free to stop in and to see the kit or call 715-726-7777 and set up an appointment for us to come out and show you some neat items to help with day-to-day activities. A big thanks to Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute for providing these wonderful kits! For more information on the Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute go to www.uwstout.edu/svri/tech.cfm