Will Medicare pay for bathroom modifications?
There are many reasons why you might want to make bathroom modifications. You might have a wheelchair that makes it difficult to navigate your current bathroom. You might have difficulty standing in the shower. You might just need some more user-friendly fixtures.
Whatever the circumstance, if you’re facing a remodel, you probably want to know if there’s any assistance you can get. It’s a medically necessary change, after all.
Today, we’re looking at bathroom modifications and whether Medicare will cover some of the cost of making your bathroom more accessible.
If you have any other parts of your house you have questions about, check out our previous post on home modifications and Medicare.
Medicare and home improvement
Before we get into specific modifications, let’s cut straight to the bad news. There is a high likelihood Medicare is not going to cover your bathroom modifications. Medicare does not cover home renovations, even if they’d improve your life and health.
However, that does not mean that you’re out of luck. Medicare Part B does cover some Durable Medical Equipment (DME) items that can be used to help you improve your bathroom and make it more accessible.
Durable Medical Equipment and Medicare
Durable Medical Equipment (DME) is equipment prescribed by a physician, such as wheelchairs, walkers, or portable oxygen equipment.
DME is covered by Medicare Part B. While your doctor is probably not going to prescribe a walk-in tub, you may be able to make smaller modifications with your Medicare coverage.
Does Medicare cover bathroom remodels?
Medicare does not cover bathroom remodeling projects, but you can get DME to go into your bathroom.
There are also short-term loans available to seniors to help fund home improvement projects like bathroom remodels.
Does Medicare pay for a shower?
Medicare does not pay for showers.
If you are having difficulty bathing, talk with your doctor about your DME options that Medicare will cover, such as handrails and traction for tiled surfaces.
Will Medicare help pay for walk-in showers/tubs?
Even if they are prescribed by a physician, Medicare will not cover any home items like tubs and showers. Although, they may give partial reimbursement of the cost in some circumstances.
Even if it is covered by Medicare, it will still likely cost you some money as well. That’s something to keep in mind as you approach any bathroom remodeling, as costs can pile up quickly in a home improvement project.
Does Medicare cover raised toilet seats?
Medicare considers raised toilet seats to be convenience items, even if a doctor prescribes them. Some Medicare Advantage (MA) plans will cover these though, so it’s important to review your plan specifics.
There are also affordable options available online for raised toilet seats and toilet seats with arms and elevation.
Does Medicare pay for grab bars?
Medicare typically does not pay for grab bars, although some MA plans might.
The good news is that there are plenty of affordable and easy-to-install options available online and at your local hardware store. Most kits are under $100, although more complex locations might cost more.
Does Medicare pay for shower chairs?
Medicare typically does not cover the cost of shower chairs. Fortunately, there are shower chair models that range from $15 and up, with the cost capping around $300 for progressive models.
With that said, some MA plans may cover the cost of shower chairs, so always review your plan information.
While Medicare may not pay for bathroom modifications, they do offer coverage of other necessary medical equipment. For more detail on what Medicare covers and what the official rules on DME coverage are, please check out this booklet.
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