Does Medicare Cover Grab Bars?

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. It remains to be seen what additional benefits may be allowed.

This change comes as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) broadened its definition of the types of benefits that private insurance companies can offer as part of their Medicare Advantage plan offerings.

To find out if Medicare Advantage plans that cover grab bars are available in your area, speak with a licensed insurance agent by calling TTY Users: 711 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Woman using a grab bar

What durable medical equipment is covered by Medicare Part B?

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 must be used in your home
  • It must be used for a medical reason
  • It must be able to withstand repeated use
  • It must have an expected lifetime of at least three years

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.

Examples of durable medical equipment

Some examples of durable medical equipment include:

  • Blood sugar monitors
  • Hospital beds
  • Commode chairs
  • Crutches
  • Nebulizers and nebulizer medications
  • Oxygen equipment
  • Manual wheelchairs and powered mobility devices
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines and other devices to treat sleep apnea

You can find more examples of Medicare-covered durable medical equipment on the Medicare.gov website.

How much you could pay for durable medical equipment

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.

How do I enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that covers grab bars?

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.

Call TTY Users: 711 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get started with a licensed agent.

 

Learn more about what Medicare covers

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MedicareAdvantage.com is a website owned and operated by TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. TZ Insurance Solutions LLC and TruBridge, Inc. represent Medicare Advantage Organizations and Prescription Drug Plans having Medicare contracts; enrollment in any plan depends upon contract renewal.

Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.