Medicare does not typically cover grab bars, as they are not considered durable medical equipment (DME).
While Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not currently cover grab bars, some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) could potentially cover grab bars in home bathrooms starting as early as 2019.
Durable medical equipment (which can include things like walkers, canes and chair lifts) is typically covered by Medicare Part B, as long as it is considered medically necessary by a doctor.
To be considered durable medical equipment, an item must meet the following criteria:
It is also important to find out if your DME suppliers accept Medicare assignment. Suppliers that don’t accept assignment can charge you any amount for equipment, which could increase how much you end up paying out of pocket for your DME.
Some examples of durable medical equipment include:
You can find more examples of Medicare-covered durable medical equipment on the Medicare.gov website.
If your DME supplier accepts assignment, you typically pay 20% of the Medicare approved amount, and Medicare Part B pays 80% after your Part B deductible is met.
In 2019, the Part B deductible is $185 per year.
Keep in mind that Medicare covers different kinds of durable medical equipment in different ways. Depending on the type of equipment, you may need to rent or buy the equipment.
To learn more about Medicare Advantage plans in your area that may cover grab bars starting in 2019, you can speak with a licensed insurance agent. Find out more about the benefits you may be able to receive and compare the costs of plans that are offered where you live.
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