Shower chairs are a great device that help prevent falls in the shower. They also help those with mobility issues be more independent when bathing.
While they can be very affordable, a common question about them is “does Medicare cover shower chairs?” Below we answer that question in clear, plain English. We’ll also look at what they cost and other helpful info for those looking to buy a shower chair.
Does Medicare Cover Shower Chairs?
Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and B) does not usually pay for shower chairs. Though they can be useful to many elderly people and people with mobility problems, they are not considered medically necessary.
Medicare does not consider shower chairs to be Durable Medical Equipment (DME) which is covered by Medicare Part B. Shower chair unfortunately do not meet DME requirements.
Will Medicare Advantage Pay For Your Shower Chair?
Though Medicare Advantage does not usually cover shower chairs, some plans may provide an over-the-counter (OTC) allowance. You can this allowance to pay for specific items, possibly including a shower chair.
There is another way you can possibly get Medicare to cover the cost of your shower chair. That would be to file an appeal if you and/or your doctor think that Medicare should pay for it.
How Much Do Shower Chairs Cost?
The cost of a shower chair varies depending on the brand and the material it’s made of. Shower chairs have a price range of from about $25 to over $760. More expensive shower chairs usually have more features to them than regular ones.
What Is A Shower Chair?
A shower chair is a seat made to fit in a bathtub or shower. It’s designed for people who find it difficult to take a bath/shower because they cannot stand properly. Shower chairs help our elders and other people with mobility problems be more independent when taking a bath.
What To Look For In A Shower Chair
Most shower chairs are made from plastic. But there are fancier types that have seats made out of teak wood. Unlike other types of woods, teak is known for its durability even when it gets wet. Most wood bathroom accessories are made of teak.
Most shower chairs are equipped with metal legs that are adjustable in height. The legs have rubber feet, which, most of the time, have suction cups to provide more adhesion.
On the other hand, some shower chairs feature wheels instead. Wheeled varieties have lock brakes to hold the chair in one place.
The plastic seat is equipped with handle grip openings on each side. Shower chairs that feature backrests are likely to have an additional handle grip opening on the top.
The side handles will help the user in cleaning his/her legs and feet. The backrest prevents the user from falling as they lean back. Also, the backrest makes the chair more relaxing!
The seats have large holes that allow the water to drain and not build up on the seat. Usually, shower chairs do not have pads, but some are padded. Padded shower chairs provide more comfort to the user and prevent back pain as a result.
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 adjustable beds?