If you or a loved one are considering a walk-in tub in your next bathroom remodel to help with the reduced mobility that comes with age, the cost is an important factor. Walk-in bathtubs cost thousands of dollars, just like much of the equipment you might need as you get older. However, Medicare does not cover the cost of a walk-in tub.
Why Isn’t It Covered?
Unfortunately, original Medicare does not consider walk-in bathtubs to be “durable medical equipment” (DME) and therefore will not cover their cost. One of the main rationales for this is that anyone can use a walk-in tub, unlike wheelchairs, hospital beds, nebulizers and more. Technically speaking, however, anyone could use their family member’s hospital bed or wheelchair.
Will Medicare Give Me Partial Reimbursement for My Walk-In Bathtub?
The argument that walk-in tubs should be considered DME occasionally succeeds in securing partial reimbursement from Medicare for the cost of a walk-in tub, but it rarely happens. Because of this, consider the cost of purchasing the tub to be out-of-pocket and hope for a return after submitting your claim.
How to Get Reimbursement for a Walk-In Tub
To get reimbursement for a walk-in tub, a person must meet many requirements, including the tub being an absolute necessity for a diagnosed medical condition. Here are some steps you should take for the best chance of reimbursement:
- Get a doctor’s prescription for the tub before buying it.
- Be certain that you can afford the full cost of a walk-in tub rather than counting on reimbursement.
- Since bathrooms are notorious for having underlying damage, plan for extra costs to be on the safe side.
Once you’ve completed these tasks, submit your claim. Even with these requirements, it’s unlikely that you will receive any reimbursement from original Medicare.
Medicare Advantage, on the other hand, has looser guidelines for “supplemental benefits,” both health-related and not. In many cases, Medicare Advantage will pay for the cost of a walk-in tub.
If you’re interested in a shower to tub conversion or any other bathroom remodeling service, contact Legacy Bath & Kitchen to schedule an in-home consultation.