Posted by: patpane | February 8, 2011

Will Medicare Cover The Cost of Grab Bars For the Shower?

I can understand you having difficulty getting in and out of the shower and the need for the grab bars for safety reasons.  However; Medicare does NOT consider them to be “Durable” medical equipment.

In order for Medicare to over durable medical equipment (DME) it must meet these four criteria:

1)  It can withstand repeated use

2) It’s used for medical purposes

3) It’s usually not useful to a person who doesn’t have an illness or injury

4) You can use it in your home

Examples of DME is:  Wheelchairs, hospital beds, diabetic shoes, walkers and canes.

Medicare usually doesn’t cover supplies that you throw away after you use them.  Medicare also doesn’t cover items that anyone who doesn’t  have an illness could use in their home.  Home modification such as grab bars, ramps and door widening also aren’t covered by Medicare.

Part B of Medicare covers DME.  Medicare pays 80% of the cost of the DME.  If you live in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Florida, Pennsylvania or California, you may need to get your DME from a specific provider for Medicare to cover it. 

Call Medicare 800-633-4227 for information about how Medicare covers DME in your state.

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