For many seniors, having a walk-in tub can be very helpful. When you have limited mobility, getting in or out of a traditional tub can be very difficult.
If you have Medicare for your health insurance coverage, you might wonder, “Can a walk-in tub be covered by Medicare?” This guide will help you understand if this type of tub is considered durable medical equipment and eligible for coverage.
Let’s get started!
Does Medicare cover the cost of a walk-in tub? Original Medicare covers specific types of durable medical equipment (DME) as long as you get the equipment from a DME provider that accepts assignment from Medicare.
Durable Medical Equipment must meet the following requirements:
Unfortunately, a walk-in tub is not considered DME by Original Medicare. However, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be able to get coverage for a walk-in tub using that plan if your doctor prescribes it.
Walk-in tubs can be quite expensive. For a basic model, you could pay between $2,000 and $3,000. Wheelchair-accessible tubs are more than twice as expensive, with prices between $5,000 and $10,000.
There’s also the cost of installation to consider, which can vary significantly based on where you live, your bathroom layout, and what types of plumbing, tile work, and other changes need to be made.
Getting a walk-in tub is a significant investment, which is why so many seniors would like to have help from Medicare in paying for it.
While you won’t be able to get Original Medicare to pay for a walk-in tub, you might have better luck with a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans can offer additional benefits above and beyond what Original Medicare provides.
Before you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, make sure it fits your needs. For example, they often have specific medical provider networks, and you’ll want to ensure that your preferred doctors and specialists are included. You also want to compare monthly premiums, deductibles, and copayments when you are deciding between plans.
A walk-in tub can help you significantly if you have mobility issues, but there are other options that are less expensive. For example, you might look to installing grab bars in your bathroom to help you balance. These can cost as little as $75, up to $200 or so.
Keep in mind that Original Medicare doesn’t cover these items, but a Medicare Advantage plan might. This could provide savings to you not just in terms of the walk-in shower, if covered by the plan, but with your overall Medicare costs.
If you have questions about other aspects of your Medicare coverage, we’re here to help. When you’re comparing Medicare plans and trying to choose the right option for your needs, talking to a licensed agent can help put your mind at ease.
Contact us today to compare plans or ask questions about your Medicare coverage!