Does Medicare Cover Walk-In Bathtubs?

Jory Cross by Jory Cross | Licensed since 2012
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This article was updated on: 09/12/2018

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Some seniors and disabled people get walk-in bathtubs installed in their homes. Walk-in bathtubs may make access to the tub or shower easier, and may prevent falls, notes the Consumer Affairs website.

What is a walk-in bathtub?

A walk-in bathtub has a door so you don’t have to climb into the tub, according to Consumer Affairs.

Does Medicare cover walk-in bathtubs?

Medicare may cover certain durable medical equipment (DME). However, Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, generally doesn’t consider a walk-in bathtub to be durable medical equipment. Items primarily used for self-help, convenience, or personal comfort are not, by Medicare’s definition, medically necessary equipment. So a walk-in tub wouldn’t be covered by Medicare. However, if you are eligible for Medicaid, your state’s program might offer financial assistance for a walk-in bathtub.

To learn about other ways you might prevent falling, click here.

What might a walk-in bathtub cost?

Costs of walk-in bathtubs may vary widely from one company to another. While Medicare doesn’t typically cover walk-in bathtubs, if you get both Medicare and Medicaid benefits, you might qualify for a Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plan. This is a type of Medicare Advantage plan that tailors its benefits for beneficiaries who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid coverage, also known as dual-eligibles.

To find out if your state Medicaid program might help pay for a walk-in bathtub, contact your state’s State Health Insurance Assistance SHIP Program.

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