Does Medicare Cover Shower Chairs?

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) typically does not cover shower chairs, because they are not considered medically necessary.

Some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans may provide coverage for certain home modifications that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as bathroom grab bars and air conditioners for beneficiaries who have asthma.

Medicare Advantage plans don’t typically cover shower chairs. Some Medicare Advantage plans, however, may provide an over-the-counter (OTC) allowance that you can use to cover select items, which might include a shower chair.

A woman uses a wheelchair while petting a dog outdoors

Why isn’t a shower chair considered durable medical equipment (DME)?

Medicare Advantage Part B can help cover certain items as durable medical equipment DME) if it they meet requirements such as:

  • The primary and customary use of the item is medical
  • The item can be used in the home and is generally not useful to someone who doesn’t have an illness or injury

Shower chairs can be convenient and can decrease your chances of injury from falling in the shower. Some people may choose to buy a shower chair to increase safety and provide a protected area in the shower or bath.

Though they are helpful, shower chairs do not meet the eligibility requirement of being medically required in order for Medicare to cover them.

We recommend speaking with your doctor directly for specific cost and coverage information.

Medicare Advantage plans can help cover other home health devices

Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies as an alternative to Original Medicare and must cover everything that Part A and Part B covers.

Starting in 2019, Medicare Advantage plans are allowed to cover items that considered primary health-related benefits that are used to:

  • Treat or prevent injuries or illness
  • Compensate for physical impairments
  • Reduce emergency medical care
  • Address the psychological effects of injuries or illness

Some plans may offer services such as transportation to doctor’s offices, home delivered meals and bathroom grab bars if they meet the above criteria.

Though shower chairs may not be considered a primary health-related benefit, other types of coverage may be available from Medicare Advantage plans in your area that can help you live a healthier and more comfortable lifestyle.

Most Medicare Advantage plans offer prescription drug coverage. Some Medicare Advantage plans may also offer additional benefits, such as:

Call to speak with a licensed insurance agent and start comparing the benefits of Medicare Advantage plans available in your area.

 

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