Does Medicare Cover Bathroom Safety Devices?

Jory Cross by Jory Cross | Licensed since 2012
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This article was updated on: 09/10/2018

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The bathroom can be a dangerous place for an older person. The bathroom is filled with hard surfaces, such as tile and porcelain that can get wet and slippery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nonfatal bathroom injuries increase with age and most injuries (81.1%) are caused by falls. Falls are responsible for 70 percent of accidental deaths in persons 75 years old and older, according to American Family Physician. To avoid bathroom falls, you may want to install bathroom safety devices.

What are examples of bathroom safety devices?

Most bathroom safety devices help with the safe use of the tub or shower and the toilet. According to the Internet Stroke Center, bathroom safety devices could include:

  • Grab bars secured to bathtub walls
  • Non-slip flooring or non-skid bathmats
  • Tub benches so you can slide into the tub without stepping into the tub
  • Shower chairs
  • A hand-held shower head that allows you to bathe while seated
  • Toilet chairs
  • A raised toilet seat

Some bathroom safety devices like plastic shower chairs may be easy to install and inexpensive. Other bathroom safety modifications, like converting your tub into a roll-in shower or installing a grab bar, may require contractor labor. For tips on hiring a contractor to help improve your bathroom safety, visit eldercare.gov.

Does Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) cover bathroom safety devices?

Medicare Part B generally does cover durable medical equipment, such as walkers and canes that may give you increased stability while using the bathroom. Medicare Part B also generally covers commode chairs. However, Medicare does not generally consider bathroom aids such as grab bars to be covered durable medical equipment. To get coverage for most bathroom safety devices, you will generally need additional insurance.

Does Medicare Advantage cover bathroom safety devices?

Medicare Advantage is a way to get your Original Medicare benefits from a private insurance company. Medicare Advantage plans must cover everything that Original Medicare covers with the exception of hospice care, which is still covered by Medicare Part A. Medicare Advantage plans often offer additional benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. One additional benefit that Medicare Advantage may cover is bathroom safety devices to prevent injuries in the bathroom. A Medicare Advantage plan may cover:

  • The physical bathroom safety device, such as bar or rail
  • Installation of the bathroom safety device
  • An in-home bathroom safety inspection by a qualified health professional

Do you have questions about Medicare coverage of bathroom safety devices?

If you’re interested in a Medicare Advantage plan to cover bathroom safety devices, I’d be happy to help you find one. You can:

  • Set up an appointment to talk with me about your Medicare needs. Or, if you like, I can email you Medicare plan options; you can find both of those links below.
  • If you’d like to compare Medicare plans on your own, use the Compare Plans buttons on this page.

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