December 19, 2023 | #Tips & Tricks

Does health insurance cover the cost of a stair-climbing wheelchair?

Stair climbing wheelchairs offer an innovative solution for people with limited mobility. This combination of power wheelchair and stairclimbing aid enables you to climb stairs safely – without outside help.

Fortunately, more and more health insurance companies and insurers are recognizing the benefits and covering the costs.
However, you should bear important points in mind when applying. This article highlights the benefits of stair climbing wheelchairs and provides helpful tips on how to apply to health insurance companies or insurers.

What is a stair climbing wheelchair?

A stair-climbing wheelchair is usually a device that combines a stair-climbing aid with a power wheelchair.
There are different types of stair-climbing wheelchairs. Many of them require an assistant to climb the stairs. Although these are already very helpful for people with limited mobility in overcoming barriers, they do not yet offer complete freedom.

With the Scewo BRO power wheelchair, on the other hand, you can move around completely independently and overcome practically any obstacle. The wheelchair balances on two large wheels in drive mode, which enables it to overcome smaller thresholds and steps without even having to change mode.

The integrated tracks and built-in sensors allow the user to seamlessly switch to stair mode at the touch of a button and thus master almost any staircase or step.

Payment for stair climbing wheelchairs by health insurance companies

The reimbursement of power wheelchairs by health insurance companies is becoming increasingly common. Health insurance companies and insurers are now increasingly recognizing the added value of versatile power wheelchairs such as the Scewo BRO.

Nevertheless, there are a few things to bear in mind to ensure that your application to your health insurance company is as successful as possible. For example, it is important that you follow certain procedures when submitting your application.

You can find a clear guide to the financing process here.

Deadlines, costs and options: Tips for applying for a stair climbing wheelchair

  1. Forwarding of the application by health insurance companies
    If no expert opinion is required, health insurance companies must forward the application within 2 weeks. Otherwise, they are obliged to check the application for all relevant cost bearers.
  2. Processing of the application by the social welfare provider
    The application must also be processed by the social welfare provider within 2 weeks of being forwarded. Among other things, it must check whether another service provider, such as the care insurance fund, could be responsible.
  3. Decision on assumption of costs by the social welfare provider
    If the social welfare provider determines that it or another service provider must cover the costs of the stair climbing aid, a corresponding decision will be issued and the costs will be covered. If another cost bearer is responsible, the social welfare provider can recover the amount paid from them.

  4. Rejection of the application by the social welfare provider
    If the social welfare provider comes to the conclusion that no cost bearer is responsible, a rejection will be issued. You can lodge an appeal against this decision within one month of receipt.
  5. Taking legal action before the social court after an objection has been rejected
    If your objection is rejected, you can file a complaint with the social court within one month of receiving the objection notice.

  6. Court costs and support
    You do not have to pay any court costs for legal proceedings before the social court. An exception to this is if the court has indicated that the action is futile and the proceedings are nevertheless continued. Costs for lawyers or experts are only reimbursed by the opposing side if the case is successful. However, costs for experts commissioned by the court do not have to be paid under any circumstances.

  7. Legal aid for low income
    If you are on a low income, you should apply for legal aid if you want a lawyer to represent you.

Source: (Status: 22.02.2023)

What are the advantages of stair climbing wheelchairs?

Stair-climbing power wheelchairs, such as our Scewo BRO, have many advantages. They can be used in many different ways and often eliminate the need for an assistant.

Here is an overview of some of the most important advantages:

Alternative financing options for stair climbing wheelchairs

If there is no or no complete coverage by the statutory cost bearers, there are also alternative financing options. These include crowdfunding, cost sharing by foundations and charitable organizations or private financing of a (partial) amount.

You also have the option of choosing from our two BRO models. The BRO Standard Plus is more affordable and offers the option of a payment of the Stair Mode on a monthly basis.

You can find out what the difference is to BRO Performance and how the payment model works here.

The health insurance company also pays for stair climbing wheelchairs

Stair climbing wheelchairs are an innovative solution for people with limited mobility. This combination of power wheelchairs and stair climbing aids makes your everyday life easier and helps you to be more independent.

Despite increasing recognition by health insurance companies, there are important tips for successfully applying for and financing a stair climbing wheelchair. If you follow these tips and take the other factors in the application process into account, your chances of getting a Scewo BRO are good!

You can find the complete financing process for Germany here.

Experience BRO up close.

Would you like to try out BRO for yourself, or would you like to know how the costs are covered by IV or health insurance?

The most important information about purchasing the Scewo BRO stair climber

As with most power wheelchairs, the level of subsidy for the Scewo BRO depends on the degree of disability of the wheelchair user. 

In Germany, BRO has an aid number (, which can help when applying to the health insurance company. Depending on the applicant’s situation and degree of disability, the cost of a stair climbing wheelchair may be paid in full or in part.

The process of financing a stair climbing wheelchair such as Scewo BRO is as follows:

  • After a test drive at your home, your doctor writes the prescription for BRO.
  • Together with the test report, the medical prescription is submitted to your health insurance company.
  • In Germany, a specialist from the Medical Service (MD; formerly MDK) will then visit you to check the suitability of BRO as your power wheelchair. In Switzerland, a specialist from the SAHB usually assesses the suitability of the requested wheelchair.
  • Based on this, your insurance or health insurance company decides how much they will pay for your new power wheelchair. If the health insurance company does not agree to pay, you can appeal the decision, turn to foundations or finance the amount privately. 

We will of course support you throughout the entire financing process.

People who are severely limited in their strength and/or mobility due to an illness, accident or other reasons are entitled to a power wheelchair such as the Scewo BRO. Depending on the severity of the mobility restriction, the classification of a wheelchair-dependent person takes place in the care degrees 3, 4, or 5 (DE) or disability degree 1 to 4 (CH).

The stair climbing power wheelchair Scewo BRO is available from 39’000.- Swiss Francs/Euros excl. VAT.  Scewo BRO combines two mobility aids: a self-operating stair climber and a power wheelchair with intelligent technology. The Scewo BRO has its own aid number in Germany and is subsidized by health insurance companies or insurance companies.

The stair climbing wheelchair Scewo BRO is ideally suited for people who … :

  • … have the cognitive and physical ability to control the stair climbing wheelchair via joystick with one hand.
  • … are within the user weight range of 40 kg – 120 kg. (The lower weight limit can be bypassed in exceptional cases thanks to weight plates).
  • … have a body height of approximately 100 cm – 195 cm.
  • … ride with or without torso stability. The Scewo BRO is self-stabilizing and can therefore be used without torso stability – unlike a Segway, for example.