Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

How much of my home medical equipment expenses will be covered by my insurance policy?
We suggest you contact your insurance company directly, quoting your plan ID, group ID and policy number. The customer service agent should be able to tell you what your insurance coverage amount is based on your policy.
My child requires a wheelchair and custom seating. Is there funding available to support us from the BC government?
There are a lot of factors to consider before determining whether you qualify for funding from the provincial government. Please visit our Funding Resources page or contact us and we can advise you on how to request funding support.
My insurance company is prepared to cover a portion of my equipment purchase. Do they send the funds to me or do they pay you directly?
We suggest you get a signed Assignment of Payment (AOP) form so we can receive payment directly from the insurer.
If my insurance company only covers a portion of my equipment expense, how do you deal with the remaining payment amount?

Once your equipment has been delivered and set up in your home, you will need to pay us the remaining percentage amount.

I have extended health insurance from my employer or spouse’s employer. How do I know how much of the equipment will be covered through the insurance policy?
The best way to determine how much the extended health insurance policy will cover is to call directly to the insurance company (Pacific Blue Cross, Green Shield, Sun Life, etc.) with your plan ID, group ID and policy number. The customer service at the insurance company is usually able to determine the coverage amounts based your policy. Only the policy holder or the Power of Attorney (if the POA agreement is on file with the insurance company) can obtain this information. If you get stuck, give us a call and we can help you.
My daughter is 18 years old and has Cerebral Palsy. She is in need of a new wheelchair and custom seating. Does she have funding through the provincial government?
There is a lot of factors to consider when determining funding through the Provincial Government programs. Island Mediquip is an authorized vendor for the Provincial Government for Durable Medical Equipment for Vancouver Island and Powell River, so is very knowledgeable on the requirements. The best way to determine coverage is to either contact the experienced staff at Island Mediquip or contact an Occupational Therapist through the Home and Community Care program.
We have contacted our Extended Health Insurer and have determined that they will cover 80% of the total purchase price of the equipment. Do we receive the payment directly from our insurer or you they pay you directly? Also, how do you deal with the remaining 20% payable?
Either we obtain a signed ‘Assignment of Payment’ form from the Power of Attorney or the Client, so we can be paid directly from the Insurer or the total amount is paid once the funds are paid to the Client or the Power of Attorney. If we receive the signed AOP form, we will require the remaining 20% to be paid once the equipment has been delivered and setup. If you need any assistance during this process, please call our experienced staff and they can guide you through the process.
I currently get provincial government financial assistance and require a wheelchair. Am I eligible for government assistance for medical equipment and are you able to provide me with the equipment needed?
We are currently an approved vendor for Vancouver Island and Powell River for all provincial government funding sources for durable medical equipment. The best place to start is to call Central Intake in your community and get an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist to provide an assessment. They are very knowledge on the funding process through government funding sources and can determine your eligibility.
Our family is of limited means and we do not have extended medical coverage of any kind. How can we keep the costs down, yet provide the best option for our loved one?
We offer an extensive rental pool of equipment which helps reduce of upfront costs of purchasing equipment. In addition, we often have gently used or demonstration medical equipment which may be available at a reduced price.
I have extended benefits (Blue Cross, Greenshield, , Manulife, etc.). Can you direct bill my insurance for my equipment?
Some extended medical benefit suppliers allow KCHME to bill directly while others do not. Please contact your extended benefit supplier and ask if they permit “assignment of payment”, and if so fill out the form and send it to us so that we can bill your benefits supplier directly.
My loved-one needs help with bathroom safety equipment, a grab bar, a raised toilet seat, a bath bench, etc.. Can you help?
Yes. Every client will have specific needs based on both his or her physical abilities/limitations and the configuration of his or her bathroom. We offer no-charge home assessments to assist with the trial and selection of appropriate equipment. We provide installation services for items such as grab bars in the event they are required too.
I just had surgery and require equipment during my recovery. Do you rent equipment?
Yes we do. Some of our clients pay privately, extended medical benefits plans often cover rental, and there may be government programs available for those who qualify. Contact us for more information.
The second hand scooter I purchased no longer works. Do you offer repair services?
Yes we do. We provide assessment services to determine the parts and labor required to fix your scooter. Additionally we will provide a quote for repair for your authorization prior to completing the work. We provide parts and labor to repair virtually all makes and models of scooters sold in Canada.
What qualifications do you have to complete your work?
KCHME is committed to providing you and your loved ones up to date products and solutions through a team of specialists. If you’re looking for compression, bracing, or post-matecomy prothetics we have several certified fitters on staff to assist you. If you’re looking for specialized custom wheelchairs there are several RRTS certified staff members (Registered Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers) to assist you. If you’re looking for commercial accessibility solutions, we have a certified Class “H” mechanic to install your stair lift or platform lift.
I have hand controls and an accessible van that requires repair. Do you provide vehicle accessibility repairs?
Yes, we sell, service and repair a wide range of vehicle accessibility solutions from our Cranbrook location. We do not sell fully modified accessible vehicles but we have a local BC partner who does. Please contact us for more information about accessible vehicle options or repairs.
My mother and father live in the Kootenays and I live in Vancouver. Can I rent equipment rather than purchase so that I know all required service and repair is taken care of at no additional cost?
Yes, we rent a wide range of durable medical equipment from wheelchairs, to hospital beds, and patient lifting – even stairlifts. We also rent a wide range of post surgical products such as cold rush machines. Please contact us to enquire about all of our rental opportunities.
Do we need an appointment for Mastectomy, Compression or Bracing?
No, you do not require an appointment but an appointment will guarantee a fitter is in-store to assist at the agreed time. We do have several staff trained for Mastectomy, Bracing and Compression appointments. If you are unable to come to us, we will as required, make appointments to visit you at home.
What is your return policy?
Hygiene and sterile products are not returnable. Fabric products are eligible for a full refund/exchange within 48 hours (stockings, bracing, pillows, etc). Regularly stocked products (other then hygiene, sterile and fabric) are refundable within 14 days: 25% restocking fee applies within 30 days. All returns require original packaging in new condition & original invoice. Custom orders are placed upon receipt of a deposit and are non-refundable. In the case product orders are cancelled prior to delivery, the deposit will be applied to shipping and restocking fees.
Do you carry Mastectomy Bras and Forms?
Yes! We carry Mastectomy Bras and prosthesis from two different suppliers so that we are able to provide you with a wide selection of items. We have Certified Mastectomy fitters and a wide range of mastectomy bras and prosthetics in stock and available for purchase and fittings. We provide fittings free of charge. Please call us for more information, or to book an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, and accommodated between scheduled appointments, but an appointment will likely shorten your wait for a fitter to be free.
Do you carry Bracing?
Yes! We have orothpedic products in stock and we work closely with your clinician when required to make sure you are getting what’s right for you. Our trained staff are able to fit you for your bracing needs, from your neck to your toes and everything in between. Most extened medical benefits plans will cover bracing when it is required by your clinician and accompanied with a prescription. Please call us for more information, or to book an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, but an appointment guarantees little to no wait time.

About Our Services

I’m currently receiving financial assistance from the BC government. Will they cover me for a wheelchair and any other home medical expenses?
We suggest you start by asking your occupational therapist or physiotherapist. You can also contact us directly for any additional assistance.
What funding options are available for a Veteran of the Canadian Forces with full benefits?
Your funding will depend on the home medical equipment needed. Most funding will require a letter of justification from an occupational therapist, a physician’s note and two quotes from authorized equipment providers. Please contact us for further assistance.
How can we keep our equipment expenses down?

If you can’t afford new equipment, we suggest you consider our rental program or look at our available pool of gently used equipment.

What are the most important features to consider when shopping for a wheelchair or any other home medical equipment?
There are a lot of variables to consider such as physical needs, daily activities, transportation challenges and more. Please contact us to speak with a specialist so we can provide you with customized support.
Do you sell and install stairlifts?
Yes we do. We supply and install a variety of products from a range of manufacturers. Please call us to arrange a no charge assessment of your house to ensure that you get the one specifically configured for your stairwell. We also have a team of qualified service technicians who will come to your home to complete on-site repair of your stairlift.
My staircase is curved. Can I still get a stairlift?
Yes. We have an advanced digital camera system that three dimensionally renders a drawing of your staircase and enables our manufacturer to design a custom built solution for your staircase, including any necessary options to create the optimal fit.
Do I require a Doctor's prescription for the medical equipment you supply.
In the event that you intend to submit your invoices for reimbursement to your extended medical benefits supplier, it is likely, but not always mandatory that you have a Doctor’s prescription. In the event you’re unsure please contact your extended medical benefits supplier to enquire about your benefits coverage. Often a Doctor’s prescription is sufficient for medical compression and bracing products. For larger pieces of equipment such as wheelchairs, scooters, and hospital beds you may be required to submit a Doctor’s prescription and a letter of medical justification from either an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist.
My child broke his leg at the ski hill. Can you help?
Yes we can. We provide a variety of equipment for all disabilities, shorterm and longterm, and for all ages.
Do you sell Scooters?
Yes! We sell a wide range of scooters from small to large and everything in between. You may come visit us at one of our stores or we can bring products to your home. We also provide after sale service and repair, both in-store and at your home.
Do you sell Lift/Recline Chairs?
Yes! We sell a wide range of lift/recline chairs in a wide range of styles, fabrics, colours and sizes. You may come visit us at one of our stores or we can bring products to your home. We also provide after sale service and repair, both in-store and at your home.
Do you sell and install elevators and vertical platform lifts?
Yes. We install, service and repair both residential and commercial (Class “H”) elevators and vertical platform lifts. We source products from a variety of Canadian and American manufacturers to ensure you receive the optimal product for you application and budget.
My mom is in a wheelchair. Are your stores accessible?
Yes. Both our Cranbrook and Castlegar locations are fully accessible for clients with mobility challenges. We provide accessible parking, level entries, automatic door openers, fully accessible showrooms and accessible washrooms.
Do you require a prescription for Medical Compression?
Yes, we do require a current prescription from your Doctor and/or Clinician for Medical Grade Compression, (Class 1 20-30mmHg or higher)
Do I need a prescription for my brace?
No, we do not require a prescription for bracing, but we do recommend that you see your Doctor, Clinician or Therapist prior to your fitting to ensure that we are providing you with the best brace for your needs. Most extended medical benefits plans require that you have a prescription in order to receive funding for your brace.
Do you do custom or special orders for bracing or compression?
We are able to make Custom and Special Orders when needed. All Custom and Special orders require a 50% deposit, and are non-refundable.
Do you direct bill to BC Fair PharmaCare?
Yes, in the event you are eligible for BC Fair PharmaCare, we direct bill directly.
Do you carry Ostomy and Urology supplies?
Yes! We carry a wide range of Ostomy, Urostomy, and Urology supplies. We are able to order from several different manufacturers, and place our orders every Tuesday Afternoon, and most of these orders arrive by the end of the week. If you are eligible, we are able to direct bill to PharmaCare for these supplies. Special Orders can be made. Please call us for more information.
Do you carry Medical Compression Stockings, Sleeves, Ganutlets?
We have certified compression fitters for a variety of indications, venous conditions, lyphedema, hypotension as well as other conditions. We work closely with your clinican to make sure you are getting the right products for your health. We provide fittings free of charge. Please call us for more information, or to book an appointment. Walk ins are welcome, but an appointment guarantees little to no wait time.
Do you have Mastectomy products in your Castlegar location?
Unfortunately we do not have the same selection of Mastectomy Bras and Prosthesis in our Castlegar location. Because of this Castlegar only accepts matectomy appointments in advance. We will send products from Cranbrook to Castlegar prior to your appointment.

Guide to getting care and support in the Kootenays

Do you or your loved one suddenly need home medical equipment and don't know where to turn for finding advice, product guidance, or emotional support?
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Please contact us to arrange a Mastectomy,
Bracing or Compression garment fittings
appointment to ensure our
Certified Fitter’s availability.