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Bathroom medical equipment, better known as bath safety products, is mostly for people with disabilities and our elderly.
As the need for this equipment is more common, so do questions about costs. One common question about insurance coverage is “does Medicare cover Medical Bathroom Equipment?” We answer this question below and take a look at common types of these devices.
Does Medicare Cover Medical Bathroom Equipment?
Original Medicare will cover some types of bathroom equipment IF it is medically necessary. (See below for a more in-depth look at commonly covered items.)
There are a handful of bath safety products that do qualify as Durable Medical Equipment (DME) which Medicare Part B covers. For example, Medicare usually will cover equipment used to prevent falls.
But it will not cover bathroom equipment that is just for comfort or convenience.
If you have Medicare Advantage (Part C), on the other hand, some plans may cover bathroom equipment. But it will only cover that equipment under certain conditions. Check the policy you have (or are considering) to see what is covered and what isn’t.
Bathroom Safety Equipment Overview
Bath safety products are a group of medical equipment. Each piece of equipment has its unique purpose for specific disabilities, conditions, or illnesses a person has or is suffering from.
They are helpful for those who have limited mobility and/or are at risk of falling. This equipment helps people get in and out of the shower or bath. They also help provide stability to people who are in the shower/bath. Toilet safety is another common use for bathroom safety equipment.
Bathroom Safety Devices Usually Covered By Medicare
Here are some of the bathroom safety devices Medicare usually covers. We dive a little deeper into each below.
- Bedside Commodes
- Shower Chairs
- Bath and Transfer Benches
- Toilet Safety Rails and Frames
- Shower Commode Wheelchairs
- Raised Toilet Seats
- Bathroom Grab Bars
- Bathtub Lifts
A bedside commode is a non-flushing toilet seat that you can place next to your bed. It is pretty much a portable toilet seat. It’s useful for people who have mobility problems and/or are bedridden.
Seniors may also find this as a quality of life innovation. It reduces the risk of them falling when using the toilet. Bedside commodes consist of a toilet seat, a frame with arms, and a removable waste bucket.
Shower chairs are designed for people who have difficulty standing while taking a shower. It allows them to sit down while they’re in the shower.
Some models of shower chairs fit inside bathtubs and shower stalls. Usually, shower chairs have a seat, legs, and armrests. But some models have additional features like a backrest.
Bath and transfer benches are mobility devices that prevent users from falling when they want to use the bathtub. These benches have four legs. Two legs are placed in the tub and the other two out of it. The side with a handle is placed inside the tub, and the open area remains out of the tub.
Toilet Safety Rails
Toilet safety rails prevent the user from falling or losing balance when using the toilet. People also use them for help when getting up from, or sitting down on, the toilet.
Shower wheelchairs are designed to be used in the shower by people who have limited mobility. They provide the user with more independence since they no longer have to rely on someone else when they are doing their business.
Some shower wheelchairs have an opening in the center of the seat for easier access to the toilet while remaining seated.
Raised Toilet Seats
Raised toilet seats add a few inches to the toilet, giving people with mobility problems more comfortable access to the toilet. They are useful for those who are having trouble sitting down on a toilet. It decreases the distance between the toilet and the standing person.
Bathroom Grab Bars
Bathroom grab bars are installed in the bathroom walls to help a person hold onto something as he/she stands up. They are a very effective way to help prevent falls in the bathroom.
Bathtub lifts are designed to lower and lift the user into and out of the tub.
Check With Your Provider
As is typically the case with Medicare, coverage for the above is not guaranteed. You will likely need a doctor’s prescription to qualify for coverage. Also, the items usually need to be purchased from a Medicare approved provider.
Please check with your provider to make sure you will be covered before you make a purchase.
Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may impact what gets covered and what doesn’t. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what is and isn’t covered by your plan.
Additional Info on Medicare Coverage
This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”
Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare cover diabetic shoes?