Does Medicare Cover Hospital Beds?

Mike Olmos by Mike Olmos | Licensed since 2010
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This article was updated on: 09/12/2018

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Has your doctor recommended that you have a hospital bed in your home to assist with your medical condition? If you are a Medicare beneficiary enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), your Part B benefits may cover 80% of the allowable charges for hospital beds after you meet your Part B deductible, as long as both your health care provider and medical equipment supplier participate in the Medicare program.

When does Medicare cover hospital beds?

There are very specific circumstances under which Medicare covers standard hospital beds:

  • You must have a medical condition that requires precise body positioning, to relieve pain or prevent respiratory infection, for example, that isn’t possible in an ordinary bed at home, or
  • You must have a medical condition that requires special attachments, such as traction equipment, that cannot be fixed to an ordinary bed.

If you need specific features, such as a variable-height hospital bed or motorized head and foot adjustments, Medicare may pay for these upgraded hospital beds if they are medically necessary to treat your condition. For example, if you have severe arthritis and you need to have the bed at a specific height in order to safely get out of bed and walk, Medicare may cover a variable-height bed if your doctor believes it is necessary.

How does Medicare coverage of hospital beds work?

Hospital beds are considered durable medical equipment (DME), which is covered under Part B. Depending on your needs and your DME supplier, you may choose to either rent or buy your hospital bed. If your supplier participates in the Medicare program, Medicare may pay 80% of the allowable charges whether you rent your hospital bed or purchase it outright. Your health care provider will be able to advise you which option is better for you.

It’s important to make sure your DME supplier participates in Medicare, because that limits the amount that you can be charged for your hospital bed. If your supplier doesn’t participate, there’s no limit to what you can be charged for out-of-pocket for medical equipment like hospital beds.

If you are enrolled in Original Medicare Part A and Part B and live in certain areas affected by Medicare’s competitive bidding program, you must get your hospital bed from a contracted supplier. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C), this program does not apply to you.

Many people who need hospital beds at home suffer from chronic conditions that often require frequent doctor visits, diagnostic tests, and other medical treatments. If you are concerned about out-of-pocket costs associated with a medical condition or disease, a Medicare Supplement Plan may help you better manage your health care expenses. Medicare Supplement plans may pay some or all of your Part A and/or Part B deductibles and coinsurance amounts.

If your condition requires multiple prescription medications, a Medicare Advantage plan with Prescription Drug coverage may be an option to help you better control your health-care costs. Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover everything included in Original Medicare (except hospice care, which is still covered by Part A), but they often include other benefits such as prescription drug coverage and even coverage for routine dental and vision care. You must continue to pay your Part B premium plus any other premium required by your plan if you choose Medicare Advantage.

Want to know more about how Medicare covers medical equipment like hospital beds? 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.

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