At New Mobility, we get a lot of questions about why disability equipment costs so much. A significant number of readers think that manufacturers are gouging us and that dealers are just out to make a buck. Surely wheelchair costs needn’t look like line items on a new Ford Mustang, right?

With the current climate of shrinking insurance coverage and narrowing options, we decided to follow the money as far as we could. What we found is that “complex rehab technology” is well-named: The complexity of the equipment is matched, if not surpassed, by the complexity of FDA approval, Medicare reimbursement and qualified customer service in our unique community of producers and consumers. We have also come to believe that the great majority of manufacturers and dealers are our allies. They must make a profit to stay afloat, but when you lift the curtain, you often find engineers thrilled to be designing for independence, company