Walk-in tubs have become increasingly popular, especially for seniors with mobility issues. If you’re considering getting one, a common question to ask is “does Medicare cover walk-in tubs?”
Below you’ll find a brief, clear answer to that question (written in plain English!). You’ll also find information about walk-in tub costs as well as other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover Walk-in Tubs?
Generally, Medicare does not cover walk-in tubs in their insurance programs. This is because they are usually not considered a medically necessity. And they are not included in the list of Durable Medical Equipment (DME), which Medicare Part B covers.
That said, there are certain cases where you may be able to get Medicare to at least partly cover the cost of the tub.
First, for Medicare to pay for a walk-in tub, you need a prescription from your doctor. And the prescription has to be very specific in stating why you need it. Your condition or illness has to be written down on that prescription.
Another thing is you’ll have to buy the tub from a supplier who’s enrolled in Medicare. They need to be a participating supplier who accepts assignment and has a Medicare number.
Though even with all this, Medicare still may deny your claim for reimbursement.
Another potential option for getting at least some the cost covered by Medicare is with a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage companies can offer additional benefits that Original Medicare does not have. And some of these plans may cover Walk-in tubs.
If you have Medicare Advantage, you’ll have to check with your plan to see. Or, you can shop around for a new plan and find one that will cover walk-in tubs.
How Much Do Walk-in Tubs Cost?
Walk-in tubs can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $15000. The prices will differ depending on the size, type, brand, and features.
Regular walk-in soaking tubs can cost from $1,500 to $5,000. On the other hand, those with air or hydrotherapy jets can cost between $2,000 to $10,000. Meanwhile, the value of bariatric, handicap, tub-shower combos, or also known as 2-person walk-in bathtubs, can run from $4,000 on the low end all the way up to $15,000.
And those are not the only expenses when getting one. You also need to think about the installation fees.
Installation costs range from $3,000 to $15,000. It takes $3,000 to $10,000 to install a standard walk-in tub with jets. Installation of more complex walk-in tubs can cost $7,000 to $15,000.
What Is a Walk-In Tub?
A walk-in tub is a bathtub meant for people who experience certain illnesses and conditions. These conditions include arthritis, chronic pain, muscle spasms, and people using wheelchairs and special lifts.
If you’re suffering from one of these conditions, you may need a walk-in tub. It’s an excellent choice and can truly make bathing easier for you.
Types of Walk-In Tubs
There are two main types of tubs: the regular walk-in tubs and the portable variant. Though this is self-explanatory, a portable option is different from a regular one because you can quickly move them anywhere if you find it necessary.
When you purchase either one, you can choose whether you want the door to open inward or outward. You also can have the door open to the right or the left, similar to a sliding door. Do not worry about the water leaking because the walk-in tubs are designed to seal shut!
Some models of walk-in tubs are for people who are suffering from a lack of muscle strength. These models have an easy latch to make them safer. Some walk-in tub models are equipped with a seat to let the user feel like they are giving themselves a treat.
Some seats either use a belt that allows you to lower in and out the bath. And there are also powered seats.
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 compression stockings?