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Walk-in bathtubs are generally not covered by Medicare because they are not considered "durable medical equipment". Unlike hospital beds, wheelchairs, catheters, blood glucose monitors or nebulizers, a walk in bathtub can be used by anyone.
Medicare does occasionally reimburse a portion of your purchase price, so it makes sense to seek a partial reimbursement. While there are no guarantees that you will be successful, your only loss if they deny your request, is the cost of photocopying, envelopes and postage.
You may wonder why a hospital bed is covered, but a walk in bathtub is not?
Anyone can sleep in a hospital bed, right? And a power wheelchair could be used by another member of the family. If you apply this logic, walk in bathtubs should be upgraded to durable medical equipment status. They are usually purchased because a senior in the home needs assistance with mobility issues. Using this argument, you may secure a partial reimbursement for the cost of your walk in tub.
The Importance of Getting a Doctor's Prescription
It's important to go about your purchase in the right way. First, before you buy your walk in bathtub, get a doctors prescription. Without it you have no chance of a Medicare reimbursement.
make sure that you can afford the purchase. Because there is a
chance that you will not receive assistance from Medicare, you
should be prepared to absorb the entire cost of your walk in
bathtub. This includes remodeling costs as well as the purchase
price of the walk in tub.
To make sure that you have considered all of the costs, contact several contractors. Show each contractor specifications for installing the walk in bathtub. Show the contractor the bathroom that you want to install the walk in tub into. Compare quotes.
Also make sure you check the better business bureau rating of each contractor. To be on the safe side, it is wise to at least plan another $1000 to the budget. This is because bathrooms are notorious for having hidden damage underneath the bathtub. When the contractor removes your old bathtub, he or is she may discover dry rot or other damage.
While there are no guarantees that you will be successful, your only loss, if they deny your request, is the cost of photocopying, envelopes and postage. Bathing is an essential part of maintaining health. If more seniors request consideration for walk in bathtub reimbursements, Medicare practice may change.
Do your part to help change the mindset of the government bureaucrats who determine what goes on Medicare's durable medical equipment list.
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