The short answer is: No, Medicare does not typically cover walk-in tubs because they are not considered medically necessary durable medical equipment (DME). There are some exceptions, but these cases are rare.
You can, however, help offset the cost of your walk-in tub purchase by applying for financial assistance through various programs, grants and discounts like Medicaid or veterans benefits. You may also get special offers or promotions to apply against your product from the manufacturer.
Keep reading to learn more about insurance coverage and other financial options for walk-in tubs so you can make an informed decision for your well-being.
Medicare Exceptions for Walk-In Tubs
In rare situations, Original Medicare might make an exception and pay the cost of a walk-in tub. Any coverage you’d receive would come as a reimbursement rather than an upfront payment. This means you may not recoup your out-of-pocket payment from Original Medicare until after you have submitted a claim for reimbursement.
To submit a claim, you must obtain a letter of medical necessity from your doctor to prove that you need a walk-in tub. This letter will describe your condition and how the tub would help improve your health. If you take this approach, it’s still possible Original Medicare will reject your claim, leaving you to cover the expense.
Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans
As we shared, securing coverage for a walk-in tub through Original Medicare can be a challenging process, and you may still be denied reimbursement.
The more promising way to gain financial assistance through Medicare is with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, also known as Plan C, which are private insurance plans offered by Medicare-approved companies. Depending on your plan, you may be eligible to receive coverage for bathroom equipment and remodeling. In fact, 10% of Medicare Advantage plans covered a portion of bathroom safety devices in 2023.
Since Medicare Advantage (MA) plans vary, call Medicare toll-free at 1-800-633-4227 to talk with your plan’s representative to determine your specific coverage.
Other Financial Assistance Options
Medicaid for Walk-In Tubs
Medicaid is more likely to pay for a walk-in tub over Medicare Original and Medicare Advantage plans. Since each state administers various Medicaid programs, there is no standardized policy on home modifications. Contact your Medicaid representative to verify whether your specific Medicaid plan includes coverage for the cost of a walk-in tub.
Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)
Medicaid’s Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver program sometimes pays for specialized medical equipment and home accessibility modifications, which can include the purchase and installation of a walk-in tub. This program allows people with significant physical and cognitive limitations to access health services and devices at home or within their community.
To determine if your state’s Medicaid waivers will cover a walk-in tub, call Medicaid toll-free at 877-267-2323.
Veterans Benefits for Walk-In Tubs
If you’re a United States veteran, you may qualify for financial assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs to purchase and install a walk-in tub in your home. Discover if you’re eligible for any of these veteran benefits.
Home Modification Grants
Eligible disabled veterans may apply for disability housing grants to install home modifications that support disabilities related to their military service or resulting from aging. The two grants include:
- Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant
- Special Home Adaptation (SHA) Grant
Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services (VD-HCBS)
Modeled after Medicaid’s HCBS Waiver program, VD-HCBS provides participants with a predetermined budget that they can spend as they see fit for care services and essential supplies that help them live independently. Some veterans have been able to use a portion of these funds to buy and install a walk-in tub or shower.
VA Aid and Attendance Program and Other Pensions
Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require aid from a caregiver, or are housebound, may use their pension benefits to purchase a walk-in tub. Additionally, the price of a walk-in tub can be classified as an unreimbursed medical expense, allowing it to be deducted from a veteran’s income. This deduction then increases the veteran’s pension benefit by an equivalent amount, effectively covering the cost of the tub.
Safe Step’s Military Discount
We are proud to offer special pricing for veterans who need additional assistance. Ask your Safe Step representative about our military discount to determine your eligibility. We’re standing by and ready to help.
Grants for Walk-In Tubs
The US Department of Agriculture offers a housing repair program called the “Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loans and Grants for Seniors” to low-income seniors living in rural areas. The program helps cover various home repairs, enhancements or modifications that reduce health and safety risks, including a walk-in tub. Contact your local USDA service center to apply today.
Rebates, Discounts and Financing Plans for Walk-In Tubs
Investing in a safe, accessible and comfortable walk-in tub allows you to stay in the home you love for years to come. That’s why Safe Step helps offset the general lack of coverage provided by Medicare and Medicaid with a Helping Hands initial visit discount, and we collaborate with many national marketing partners, including AARP, who offer coupons, discounts and credits.
For qualified individuals with approved credit, we also provide tailored financing plans. Explore our pricing guide for more details.
Make Your Bathing Routine Safer
Over the last 15 years, Safe Step has specialized in safety, creating walk-in tubs and walk-in showers that bring independence, peace of mind and comfort to your daily routine. By knowing your financial options, you can enjoy a safe, at-home bathing experience sooner.
Request a free quote today to find the best bath solution for your needs. Ask us about our competitive offers, a lowest price guarantee and other discounts. Our experts are here to help you transform the way you bathe.