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Will Medicare Pay for a Walk-In Shower?

Published on Wednesday September 16, 2020
Walk-in shower

For most seniors, a walk-in shower is much easier to manage than a tub. Entering and exiting is easier, as is the showering process. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question, “does medicare pay for walk-in showers.” 

Generally speaking, walk-in bathtubs or showers are not considered “durable medical equipment” by Original Medicare which means that the plan will not pay to have your tub removed and a walk-in installed. However, the Medicare Advantage plan may help cover the cost of the bath remodel

Does Medicare Pay for Walk-In Showers?

Medicare’s coverage for walk-in showers is not straightforward but unfortunately, the answer is usually no. Generally, Medicare does not classify walk-in showers as “durable medical equipment” (DME), which it typically covers. 

This applies to tub-to-shower conversions as well. Medicare considers these a home modification rather than a medical necessity, even if it’s for safety reasons.

However, there are some exceptions and alternative options:

Medicare Advantage Plans 

Medicare Advantage Plans are special health insurance plans that you can choose instead of regular Medicare. These plans are offered by private companies but are still part of the Medicare program. 

When it comes to paying for walk-in showers, which are showers easy to get into and out of, these Medicare Advantage Plans might help cover the cost. However, not all Medicare Advantage Plans will pay for a walk-in shower. 

It depends on the specific plan you have and where you live. Some plans might see the value in helping seniors make their bathrooms safer with a walk-in shower, especially if a doctor says it’s necessary for health reasons.

If you’re thinking about getting a walk-in shower and want to know if your plan will help pay for it, the best thing to do is to check the details of your Medicare Advantage Plan or talk to someone from the plan. They can tell you exactly what’s covered.

Doctor Consultation and Prescription

If you believe a walk-in shower would help you or a loved one aging in place, talk to your doctor about it. If your doctor agrees and writes it down as a medical need, this might help you with Medicare. 

If a walk-in shower is deemed medically necessary by a doctor, you might be able to get a prescription for it. This could potentially help with Medicare reimbursement, although it’s not guaranteed.

Even under these circumstances, it’s possible that Original Medicare won’t provide financial assistance, so you should be prepared to pay the full cost of your bath-to-shower conversion. After an out-of-pocket purchase is made, you can submit the claim for a possible reimbursement and hope for the best.

Contact the appropriate government office for more information about how Medicare can help your specific situation. 

Does Medicare Cover Aging-In-Place Bathroom Accessories?

Medicare may cover certain aging-in-place accessories if these items are deemed medically necessary by a doctor. They also need to be considered DME. Some examples are commode chairs, bedside toilets, and safety handles or rails installed around the toilet or shower area.

Some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans might offer broader coverage, which can include additional benefits for home modifications. This can vary greatly between different plans and providers.

Alternative Financial Assistance for Walk-In Showers

If Medicare doesn’t help pay for your walk-in shower, there are other ways to get financial help. Some states have special programs to help older people make their homes safer, like adding a walk-in shower. 

The USDA Rural Repair and Rehabilitation grant is available to help elderly, low-income residents make some aging-in-place home modifications. They can be used for home and safety improvements, which covers a walk-in shower in the senior’s bathroom.

Start Your Aging-in-Place Bathroom Project Today

Improve bathroom safety for seniors with aging-in-place bath and shower modifications from Long Baths. We offer financing options to help homeowners cover the cost of their bath remodel projects with or without Medicare coverage. That way, you can get the shower you need now and pay for it in smaller amounts over time. 

All Long Baths products are scratch-resistant and designed to prevent cracks, chipping, or leaking. Our Lifetime Warranty covers all labor and materials on all installations should your new tub or shower have a defect. 

Ready to learn more? Contact us to get started and receive a free estimate today!

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