June 19, 2013

I found the June 16 editorial “How to save on medical equipment” very timely as I struggle to reduce my mother’s impact on Medicare. My mother turned 100 in January, and, although sound of mind, her body is failing her. After several falls, she was prescribed a wheelchair in September. I take care of her finances, and I got annoyed writing monthly checks for an $8 co-payment and decided to investigate what was going on. It turns out she has been renting her chair for $98 a month — 10 months so far for a total of $980. I found several vendors offering the wheelchair model for sale online for about $400. Why doesn’t Medicare have a standard policy that, in addition to getting competitive bids, requires that a “rental” is always “rent-to-buy”?

Rob Mairs, Edgewater