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Weighted blankets are all the rage these days. Many like them simply because they are so comfy and cozy. Others like them because of the medical benefits these blankets can provide.
If you’re over 65, you may be wondering “does Medicare cover weighted blankets?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You’ll also find the average costs of weighted blankets as well as other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover Weighted Blankets?
The short answer is, yes, Medicare will cover the cost of weighted blankets. But not 100% of the time. As is often the case with Medicare, certain conditions have to be met in order for Medicare to pay for your weighted blanket. Below we look at what these are so you know what to expect.
Surprisingly, Medicare does cover weighted blankets. Weighted blankets are considered Durable Medical Equipment or DME, which Medicare Part B covers.
To get them covered, the weighted blanket must be medically necessary. You will need a prescription from a Medicare-approved doctor. And your DME supplier must also be approved by Medicare.
If either your supplier or doctor is not Medicare-approved, your weighted blankets will not be covered. In this case, you’ll have to pay for it yourself. However, if both are Medicare-approved, Medicare will pay 80% of the cost of a weighted blanket.
If you have any questions about coverage, be sure to check with your Medicare provider.
How Much Does Weighted Blankets Cost?
Weighted blankets prices range widely. They can cost anywhere from $25 to even $400. Higher prices from around $100 to $400 tend to be higher quality compared to cheaper ones.
Medical Benefits of Weighted Blankets
Now that we know Medicare covers weighted blankets, it’s clear that they have some medical benefit. So what exactly are these blankets? And how can they help our health? Let’s get some answers!
Weighted blankets are bed covers that have weighted materials sewn in them. They usually weigh between 5 pounds and 30 pounds.
Besides being comforting, they can be used to help with a number of different health conditions.
In children, these blankets can help those with autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) calm down. The blankets’ weight can create a “Deep Pressure Stimulation” (DPS) effect. It feels like someone is hugging you. This effect results in serotonin release, a chemical in our brains that makes us happy.
Weighted blankets are also known for aiding in the treatment of anxiety disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and insomnia. The blankets help reduce nighttime levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that contributes to anxiety.
Cortisol plays a big role in our “fight or flight” response. It is very useful if we’re in a dangerous situation. However, it is terrible for our mental health when it’s triggered in non-threatening situations and daily life. The DPS effect that a weighted blanket provides can help someone with anxiety calm down.
Weighted blankets are also useful for treating symptoms of dementia. The blankets help them improve their sleep quality so, the next day, they feel more rested.
These blankets also help in treating arthritis. Arthritis gets worse when a person does not get quality sleep. However, a person cannot sleep well when dealing with arthritis pain. Because weighted blankets can help a person sleep much more comfortably (and fall asleep faster) this breaks the arthritis pain cycle.
Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.
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 Radicava?