Does Medicare Cover Incontinence Supplies?
This article was updated on: 09/10/2018
If you or a loved one suffers from urinary incontinence, you may need incontinence supplies such as pads or adult diapers to stay clean and comfortable. Unfortunately, if you are enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), these incontinence supplies are typically not included in your coverage.
What causes incontinence?
According to the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Aging, incontinence is more common in older people and there are several possible causes for incontinence in men and women:
- Weak or overactive bladder muscles
- Neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s that damage the nerves that control the bladder
- Diseases such as osteoarthritis that may make it difficult to get to the bathroom quickly
- In men, an enlarged prostate may also contribute to incontinence.
The National Institute on Aging describes the following types of incontinence:
- Stress incontinence, in which the bladder leaks a bit when you sneeze or cough or laugh.
- Urge incontinence occurs when you have a sudden urge to go to the bathroom but can’t hold it long enough to make it on time. This type is often connected to neurological disorders, diabetes and stroke.
- Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder is always full, so urine may frequently leak out. This type is often connected to prostate enlargement in men, although spinal cord injury or diabetes may also cause overflow incontinence.
- Functional incontinence occurs when individuals have control over their bladders, but a disease or injury makes it difficult for them to get to the toilet quickly.
There are different treatment options available for the different types of urinary incontinence; your doctor or other health care provider will discuss your options with you and make recommendations based on your unique health situation. Medicare may pay for certain medical treatments for incontinence, but as a rule, it generally does not pay for incontinence supplies used to keep you clean and dry.
Is there any Medicare coverage for incontinence supplies?
Medicare generally doesn’t cover incontinence supplies or adult diapers outside of nursing homes.
Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare and are required by law to cover everything that is included in Original Medicare coverage (except for hospice care, which is still covered under Part A). Since they are offered by private insurance companies, however, they are able to offer additional benefits that may help save money for their members.
Many Medicare Advantage plans also include coverage for prescription drugs, as well as coverage for routine vision, dental, and even hearing care. In many cases, your out-of-pocket costs may be lower with a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan, due to lower copayments and deductible amounts.
It’s important to remember that not all plan types and benefit options may be available in all locations. You must continue to pay your Part B premium, plus any premium required by your plan, if you choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Want to know more about how your Medicare coverage can help with incontinence supplies? I am happy to give you more information and answer your questions. If you prefer, you can schedule a phone call or request an email by clicking on the buttons below. You can also find out about plan options in your area by clicking the Compare Plans button.