Athlete Todd Robinson Explains Wheelchair Accessibility and Insurance

Editor’s Note: Paraplegic Athlete Todd Robinson of Alpharetta, Georgia, is a sales representative for At Home Medical, based in Suwanee, Georgia, which specializes in urological products, incontinent supplies, wound-care, ostomy and general medical supplies for patients who are making cash purchases.  As a follow-up to Todd’s interview about his IronMan competition, we also talked with Robinson about some of the concerns that people in wheelchairs have.  Part 2 of a four-part series entitled “The 10 Most-Often Asked Questions about Living with Disabilities.
Todd Robinson shares his thoughts from the perspective of a wheelchair user.

Todd Robinson shares his thoughts from the perspective of a wheelchair user.

Question: What about accessibility in a wheelchair? How do I get into my house, and if I travel, how do I get in and out of motel rooms, bathrooms and other places? Will doors and corridors be wide-enough for my wheelchair?

Robinson: You may need to have a ramp built, a door removed or a wider door installed at home. For some people, hallways are too narrow, especially for power wheelchairs. So, accessibility depends on your disability and independence.

When you’re in rehab, a rehab staff member will be sent-out to your home to measure your rooms, hallways and doors. Then they’ll show you what needs to be done for accessibility to every room.

If there’s a room with a problem, the rehab staff will tell you how to modify that room to allow you access. If you have just a little step-up between rooms, a small built-in or a pre-made ramp can go over the step.

As Todd learned years ago, maneuvering around the house can be made easier with some home modifications.

As Todd learned years ago, maneuvering around the house can be made easier with some home modifications.

After I was injured, all I needed was a ramp built to get into the house and a door removed from a bathroom in the bedroom I used. Now, the unfortunate problem for some people with disabilities is they don’t have insurance and aren’t able to go to rehab, so these things aren’t done for them.

Question: What’s covered by an insurance plan?

Robinson: It depends on the plan. Some insurance companies cover a number of supplies. Always ask what your insurance plan will cover; you may be surprised.

This is especially true for when you get out of the hospital or rehab. Your insurance company often covers the supplies you’ll need for every day.

If you have incontinence problems, which is the case for many paraplegics, insurance often will cover catheters, mini catheters, drainage bags and other supplies you may need. If you don’t have insurance, you can pay cash for those supplies from At Home Medical.

Each state’s Medicaid program has different guidelines as to what the program covers and the quantities they’ll cover. Medicare, on the other hand, is a separate program and covers supply needs the same way, regardless of where you live.

So, remember to find out what your insurance program will cover, as far as ongoing supplies you’ll need, before you leave the hospital.

The hospital will train you while there on the types of supplies you’ll need and teach you how to use them. While they’re showing you how to use the different items, ask who covers the cost of these supplies before you’re discharged.

Remember, for most of us in wheelchairs or who have some form of disability, we’re in a new situation. So, we need to ask all the questions we can to learn how to cope and get the supplies we need before we leave the hospital and rehab.

Next: How Wheelchair Athlete Todd Robinson’s Life Changed When He Realized That God Is In Control

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

About UroMed Catheters
Headquartered in Suwanee, GA [a suburb of Atlanta], UroMed is one of the nation’s leading providers of single-use catheters, urological and disposable medical supplies, including intermittent catheters, closed system catheters, condom catheters, pediatric catheters and continence care products. UroMed is nationally accredited for Medicare reimbursement and most state Medicaid plans, and partners with private health insurance providers and health plans to provide patients with single-use catheters, catheter kits and incontinence products. UroMed also has seven staffed regional offices located in Boston, MA; Columbia, SC; Jacksonville, FL; Dallas, TX; Carlsbad, CA; Knoxville, TN; Richmond, VA; and Baton Rouge, LA; enabling next-day delivery after a customer’s initial medical supply order. For more information, please visit http://www.uromed.com or call 1-800-841-1233.

One Response to Athlete Todd Robinson Explains Wheelchair Accessibility and Insurance

  1. Pingback: Paraplegic Athlete Todd Robinson Says, “Yes, You Can Drive – Even When In A Wheelchair” « UroMed Catheter Health Blog

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