Wheelchair Van Funding

Understanding Insurance

Does insurance pay for wheelchair van conversions?

The question we are asked most frequently is, “Does insurance pay for wheelchair van conversions?” And the answer is, “It depends.” There are two reasons this question does not have a simple “yes” or “no” answer. First, there are many different types of insurance, from auto insurance to worker’s compensation insurance. Some insurance benefits do include financial compensation for wheelchair van modifications, while others do not. Second, for the types of insurance that do cover vehicle modification expenses, the person will have to meet certain criteria to qualify. These qualifications will vary by both the type of insurance and the entity providing it.

In order to give you a complete answer to this question, let’s take a deep dive into seven common types of insurance coverage:

Auto Insurance

Does auto insurance cover wheelchair van conversions?

Vehicles involved in a car accidentIn Michigan, the state’s no-fault insurance system provides coverage for adaptive vehicle modifications required after an injury from a catastrophic car accident. This is because Michigan’s no-fault insurance law requires insurers to provide “reasonable and necessary” benefits to injured parties, which can include coverage for adaptive vehicle modifications.

According to Michigan’s Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), no-fault insurance policies must provide coverage for “all reasonably necessary products, services and accommodations for an injured person’s care, recovery, or rehabilitation.” This includes adaptive vehicle modifications such as wheelchair lifts, hand controls, and other specialized equipment needed to accommodate the needs of an injured person.

It’s important to note that the specific coverage and limits of a no-fault insurance policy can vary, so it’s important to review the terms and conditions of your policy or contact your insurance provider for more information on coverage for adaptive vehicle modifications.

The approval process for an insurance provider to authorize the requested vehicle modifications can be challenging. Many people seeking a wheelchair accessible van or vehicle modifications to accommodate injuries from a catastrophic car accident utilize the services and resources of an attorney specializing in Michigan auto no-fault law as well as a nurse case manager. Additionally, there are several organizations in Michigan that can provide resources for auto accident survivors.

Disability Insurance

Does disability insurance cover wheelchair van conversions?

Hand holding pen to complete an application for a disability insurance policyThe answer to this question depends on the specific terms and conditions of the disability insurance policy in question. While most disability insurance policies will not cover the cost of a wheelchair van conversion, some policies may.

In general, disability insurance policies are designed to provide income replacement or financial assistance in the event that the policyholder becomes disabled and is unable to work. They may also provide coverage for certain medical expenses related to the disability, such as rehabilitation or physical therapy. However, whether or not a wheelchair van conversion is covered by a disability insurance policy will depend on the specific terms of the policy. It is important to carefully review the policy documents and speak with the insurance provider to determine what is covered and what is not.

It may also be helpful to look into other sources of funding for a wheelchair van conversion, such as grants, loans, or assistance programs offered by organizations that specialize in providing support to individuals with disabilities.

Health Insurance

Does health insurance pay for wheelchair van conversions?

Whether or not health insurance will cover the cost of a wheelchair van conversion will depend on your specific policy and the reason for the conversion. Generally speaking, health insurance is designed to cover medical expenses related to illness or injury. While a wheelchair van conversion may be necessary for someone with a medical condition, it is not necessarily considered a medical expense. Therefore, it is very uncommon for health insurance providers to cover the expense of a wheelchair van conversion.

However, some health insurance plans may cover the cost of a wheelchair van conversion if it is deemed medically necessary. This typically requires a recommendation from a healthcare provider, and the insurance company will need to approve the claim.

While it is rare for health insurance companies to provide funding for vehicle modifications, there are other sources of funding available that may be able to help cover the cost of a wheelchair van conversion, such as government programs, grants, or nonprofit organizations. It is worth exploring all options to find the best solution for your individual needs.

Homeowner's Insurance

Does homeowner's insurance pay for wheelchair van conversions?

Homeowners insurance policy documentWhether or not homeowner’s insurance covers the cost of a wheelchair van conversion would depend on the specific terms and coverage of the policy. Generally, homeowner’s insurance is designed to cover damages and losses related to the physical structure of the home, as well as personal property within the home. It may also provide liability coverage in the event that someone is injured on the property. However, modifications to a vehicle, such as a wheelchair van conversion, may not be covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy. To determine if a wheelchair van conversion would be covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy, it would be best to consult with the insurance provider and review the policy’s terms and coverage options.


Does Medicaid pay for wheelchair van conversions?

No, traditional Medicaid coverage does not pay for vehicle modifications or wheelchair van conversions. However, Michigan Medicaid does offer different waiver programs that may be able to provide financial assistance for wheelchair van conversions to eligible individuals.

MI Choice Waiver Program
Younger man assisting an older man in a wheelchair on a bridgeSometimes simply referred to as, “the waiver,” the MI Choice Waiver Program began in 1992 as the Home and Community Based Services for the Elderly and Disabled (HCBS/ED) waiver program. With MI Choice, eligible adults are able to receive Medicaid-covered services, like those provided by nursing homes, but can stay in their own home or another residential setting. Additionally, a participant may receive transportation services that include a wheelchair accessible vehicle or modifications to an existing vehicle if the participant requires the service to gain access to medical care, adult day care, or other covered services. The requested vehicle modifications must be deemed medically necessary to meet the needs of the program participant.

However, the specific coverage for a wheelchair van conversion may depend on several factors, including the individual’s medical condition, functional limitations, and transportation needs. Therefore, it is best to contact Michigan’s Medicaid office or your local Area Agency on Aging to determine whether a wheelchair van conversion is covered and to learn about any additional requirements or limitations.

Children’s Waiver Program
Woman assisting a child in a wheelchairThe Michigan Medicaid’s Children’s Waiver Program (CWP) may cover the cost of wheelchair van conversions for eligible children. The CWP provides comprehensive services and support to children with developmental disabilities and chronic medical conditions to help them live at home and in their communities.

One of the services provided by the CWP is transportation, which includes the purchase and/or modification of vehicles to accommodate the child’s medical needs. This may include the conversion of a van to make it wheelchair accessible. However, the specific coverage and eligibility criteria for this service may vary depending on the child’s individual needs and circumstances.

Organizations such as Easterseals MORC and The Arc can help determine if a wheelchair van conversion is covered under the CWP for a specific child. They can also provide more information about the CWP and the services available, as well as help determine if the child is eligible for coverage. In addition to the CWP, there are other wheelchair van grants and funding programs available for children with disabilities


Does Medicare pay for wheelchair van conversions?

Medicare Health Insurance cardNo, wheelchair van conversions and vehicle modifications are not covered by Original Medicare (Part A and/or Part B). However, wheelchair van conversions may be covered under some Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare, and the coverage and benefits can vary depending on the specific plan. In general, Medicare Advantage plans must cover all the services that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) covers, but they may also offer additional benefits.

Additional benefits covered will vary depending on the plan and the specific circumstances. Some plans may cover the cost of a wheelchair van conversion or vehicle modification if it is considered medically necessary for the treatment of a specific condition or disability.

To determine if a specific Medicare Advantage plan covers wheelchair van conversions, you should contact the plan directly and ask about their coverage and any requirements or restrictions that may apply. It is also a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider to determine if the requested modifications are medically necessary. There are also other options and resources available to help cover the cost.

Worker's Compensation

Does worker's compension pay for wheelchair van conversions?

Construction worksite safety gear and workplace safety notebookMichigan’s Workers’ Disability Compensation program may cover the cost of vehicle modifications to accommodate an injury sustained at work, but it depends on the specifics of your case and the requirements set forth by the program.

In general, Workers’ Disability Compensation provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job, including medical expenses, wage loss benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. Vehicle modifications that are necessary due to a work-related injury may be considered a medical expense and covered by the program.

However, to determine whether the program will cover the cost of vehicle modifications, you will need to file a claim and provide documentation of your injury, your need for the modifications, and the cost of the modifications. It is important to note that the program may require that you obtain prior approval before making any modifications to your vehicle, so be sure to check with your claims administrator before proceeding.

Case Management Services

Do you need a case manager after a catastrophic auto accident?

Two people seated at a table drinking coffeeWhether or not you need a case manager after a catastrophic auto accident can depend on various factors, including the severity of the accident, the extent of your injuries, and the complexity of your medical treatment.

A case manager is a healthcare professional who can assist you in managing your medical care and recovery after a catastrophic accident. They can help you navigate the healthcare system, coordinate your medical treatment, communicate with your healthcare providers, and help you access any resources or services that you may need to support your recovery.

If you have sustained serious injuries in an auto accident, such as a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or multiple fractures, you may benefit from having a case manager to help you manage your medical care and recovery. Similarly, if your injuries require complex medical treatment or involve multiple healthcare providers, a case manager can help ensure that your care is well-coordinated and that you receive the best possible treatment.

Ultimately, the decision to work with a case manager after a catastrophic auto accident is a personal one and depends on your individual needs and circumstances. It may be helpful to consult with a healthcare professional or attorney to discuss whether a case manager could benefit you in your specific situation. You can also view our frequently asked questions about case managers for more information.

Additional Funding Resources

Wheelchair Van Funding Beyond Insurance Coverage

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