My family, musings and life in the turtle pond

Just a random aside, I guess. I was given a wheelchair to use by the hospital. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful. But it’s too limiting for what I need. I am a very active person. And the chair is so heavy and difficult to maneuver that it’s slowing me way down. It is so big and clunky that it’s hard to transport. Its just hard to manage. And too heavey when I’m alone. It would be absolutely perfect if I didn’t go out a lot, or worked in a job where I wasn’t actually moving much.

But I teach preschool. I go out with friends, and I absolutely LOVE to ballroom dance. I need a chair that allows me to do that.

I found the ideal one. but there’s a catch. to have it adapted to what I need would cost almost $3,000. i don’t have that to spend. Not on a chair anyhow. But I was looking at others that might work and even the “cheap” ones are over $1000. WHY?

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Comments on: "why are wheelchairs so expensive!" (3)

  1. And this is my argument against health insurance companies. I hear this kind of thing a lot from my American friends (and not other countries), and found the answer; because INSURANCE COMPANIES can afford them. It’s really as simple as that. A decent wheelchair here in Australia (when I was pricing one for myself) will set you back $300-$500 (that was for a double-hinged heavy-duty one that is also lightweight and mobile; at a little over 300lb, I needed one that would both take my weight, and yet support my independence).

    The same with CPAP machines. I use a CPAP, I’m paying my machine off, it’s $1600 total including the mask. In the US, a similar machine costs $3000 and upwards, and then you have to buy the mask on top of that. It was the CPAP more than the wheelchair that got me to query it. The answer came back to insurance; the prices are hiked to force people to pay for insurance. I don’t know if they’re in cahoots with the medical companies, but there it is.

    And then we have medications. Even without the PBS (socialised medicine, for want of a better description; it allows access to cheap medications for low-income folk), most medications are within the $100 mark, with most sitting around $20. The US equivalent is marked anywhere up to 500% higher. And get this, they’re the SAME THING! Same company, same distributor, same brand name. So why the higher price tag, if not for insurance? Everything else is cheaper in the US than in Aus.

    So there you have it, your answer. Your wheelchair that you need is so expensive because you’re ransomed by greedy medical companies who can get away with the higher prices, because the expectation is that you’ll have insurance that will cover it. And if you don’t? Well, too bad, they have a profit margin to maintain.

    • *sigh* The chair I need (cuz the loner really isn,t working for me) is $2500! what the heck am I spposed to do? I want to keeep working.

      • All I can suggest is that you take up a collection or something 😦 It’s wrong that people go on about “people should work”, and then you’re hit with an obstacle like this while TRYING to work.

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