About Durable Medical Equipment: Transport Wheelchairs

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This information explains what a transport wheelchair is, how to use it, and where to buy it.

A transport wheelchair (also called a companion chair or roll-about wheelchair) is a wheelchair that’s lighter and easier to use than a standard wheelchair (see Figure 1). It can be useful for a person who doesn’t need to use a wheelchair all the time but wants to use one sometimes. Some people choose to use transport wheelchairs to travel to and from their appointments safely.

Figure 1. Transport wheelchair

Figure 1. Transport wheelchair

Transport wheelchairs aren’t made for traveling long distances. If you want a wheelchair for longer distances, ask your nurse about getting a standard wheelchair.

A standard transport wheelchair can support a person who weighs up to about 300 pounds. A heavy-duty transport wheelchair can support a person who weighs up to 400 pounds. Check with the wheelchair manufacturer to see how much weight your wheelchair can hold.

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How to Use a Transport Wheelchair

Transport wheelchairs aren’t made to be moved by the person sitting in the wheelchair. A caregiver has to help push the wheelchair.

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Where to Buy a Transport Wheelchair

You can buy a transport wheelchair at the following places:

  • Medical supply stores
  • Medical supply websites (such as Wheelchair.com)
  • Retail drug stores (such as Walgreens or CVS)
  • Supercenters (such as Wal-Mart or Target)
  • Online retailers (such as Amazon)

Transport wheelchairs are sometimes covered by insurance plans, but usually only with a prescription from your healthcare provider. It’s best to check with your insurance provider to find out what your plan covers.

If your insurance provider covers transport wheelchairs, ask your healthcare provider for a prescription for one. Then you can submit the prescription to your insurance provider after you buy it.

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