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Walk-in showers are very helpful for those with mobility issues. But installing them can be quite pricey.
So many people have the question “Does Medicare cover Walk-in Showers?” We answer that question below as well as cover the average costs of walk-in showers and other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover Walk-in Showers?
Generally, Original Medicare will not cover the cost of walk-in showers. They are not considered as Durable Medical Equipment. However, in certain situations, you can get some assistance from Medicare.
About the most you can hope for is to get a reimbursement from Medicare. In this situation, you’ll have to pay for all the costs of the shower and installation up front. Then you would submit a claim to Medicare for the costs and hope for the best.
In order for Medicare to even consider covering some of the costs, however, you’ll have to prove that the walk-in shower is a medical necessity.
While Original Medicare probably won’t cover the costs, Medicare Advantage, on the other hand, may be able to help. But that depends on the state you reside in and the specific details of your Medicare Advantage plans.
How Much Do Walk-in Showers Cost?
Depending on the materials, type of shower and where you live, the price can vary a lot. Here are some average costs you can expect.
Installing an Acrylic Walk-In Shower can cost between $6000-$7000, including the labor and materials.
An Onyx Walk-In Shower can cost from $7000 to $8500, including labor and materials.
And a Custom-Tiled Walls Walk-in Shower can cost between $8500 to $10000.
About Walk-In Showers
Walk-in showers are basically shower stalls but without doors, curtains, lip or ledge to step over, and a tub underneath them. This makes them much easier to get into for those with mobility issues. To provide some privacy, however, some walk-in showers are closed off by half walls or glass.
Walk-in showers can also be known by many terms, including step-through and curbless showers. This is beneficial to our elders and handicapped people because they no longer have to put too much effort going into shower stalls whatsoever. They can pass through, making it a very safe and convenient solution.
How To Make A Tub Into A Walk-in Shower?
Many of us have traditional bathrooms where our tub and shower are connected. And this could be a problem if you have relatives who are seniors or who have an injury or condition that limits their mobility.
One great solution to that is renovating your bathroom into a walk-in shower type. But it will not be that easy, so here are the steps on how to make a tub/shower bathroom into a walk-in shower.
1. Demolish the tub and shower walls
You may be wondering why you need to demolish the walls as well when you can remove the tub. The thing is, the tub is one large piece that is installed first before the drywall and tiles. So that means that the tub is trapped by what surrounds it, including the shower walls.
2. Redo the plumbing
Reconfiguring the existing plumbing to match the new shower pan will allow the water to drain correctly. Doing that will also prevent plumbing issues.
3. Replace with new shower valve
Since your tub is no longer there, you will no longer need the tub faucet and valve. You will have to replace it with your new shower fixture.
4. Install wall blocking
Installing the wall blocking will allow the installation of shower grab bars, which are usually needed.
5. Install shower pan and shower walls
After installing the wall blocking, you can now install the shower pan and shower walls, making it an almost finished product.
6. Install accessories
Of course, you will need a place to put your bathroom necessities (soap, shampoo, etc.) and other things like towels! So the last step is to install things like a shelves and/or hooks to make these items easy to reach!
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 hernia surgeries?