JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Herb Thomas, 68, said his electric scooter has become a new pair of legs.
"It is a good friend," said Thomas.
This week he drove it from his retirement community to a grocery store, about a mile or less,and the red lights went on.
"When two red lights come onall of sudden," said Thomas, "you might have two or three minutes to do something or it will stop."
Thomas left his scooter at the supermarket and hitched a ride back to his apartment. He said when he called his service company, he was surprised by what the company calleda Medicare rule.
"They said it must be at your residence or we cannot work on it," said Thomas.
Is there such a rule? It was a wake-up call for the retired attorney.
"I think is an example of where the federal government is not doing in-depth thinking if that is in fact is a rule," he said.
The electric scooter was picked up by the staff of his retirement home.
"I'm scared to use it," said Thomas.
He parked it and called the service company againand they have scheduled a service call for Monday, after Thanksgiving.
But Thomas said this should alert anyone using an electric scooter, paid for by Medicare, to pay close attention to the rules before getting the product.
"Asked the provider of the chair for the full details of any limitations of the use," said Thomas.
Is there such a rule?We askedMedicare and we're waiting for a response.
JerryHallowns Hall-Moore, a medical equipment company, and he said the rule is simple.
Medicare will not pay for anything (reimburse) used outside of the residence.
Hall said this sounds more likeThomas' service provider was more concerned about how it will be reimbursed than getting theelectric scooter into service.