in their tv ads they brag how 90% of people who buy one get one for free through medicare/medicaid.
True. But do they get the same model as shown on TV? Medicaid/Medicare has fixed prices they will pay any contracted dealer. The Medicaid/Medicare customers were likely getting a basic model made on Medicare/Medicaid contract. Scooters unlike wheelchairs can be built with one or two sizes fits all construction.
On wheelchairs and maybe some scooters I'm not sure on scooters will also pay for certain PRESCRIBED by physician options like tilt back seats on wheelchairs.
To someone who doesn't know beans about wheelchairs or paraplegia/quadriplegia it may seem like a rip off of the system. The tilt back seats are to relieve pressure areas. A person in a motorized wheelchair for example tilted back isn't doing it for comfort but rather medical necessity. Pressure sores cost lots of money too treat. Good functional seating is much cheaper.