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Does Medicare Cover Shower Chairs?

Does Medicare Cover Shower Chairs?

Medicare, as many of you may know, is a federal health insurance program primarily for people aged 65 or older. But the burning question that remains in the minds of many is: "Does Medicare cover shower chairs?

The answer, in a nutshell, is both yes and no. Medicare Part B, which covers durable medical equipment (DME), may include shower chairs under certain circumstances. Let's dissect this further in the subsequent sections.

Understanding Medicare and Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

Unraveling the Medicare Mystery

Before we tackle the shower chair dilemma, let's first understand what Medicare is all about. A part of the Social Security Amendments of 1965, Medicare provides health insurance for people aged 65 and older, as well as certain younger individuals with disabilities.

Durable Medical Equipment 

When we say Durable Medical Equipment (DME), we're referring to equipment that:

  • Is primarily used for a medical reason
  • Is durable and can withstand repeated use
  • Is generally not useful to someone who is not sick or injured
  • Is used in your home
  • Has an expected lifespan of at least three years

When Might Medicare Cover Shower Chairs?

The golden rule is that Medicare covers items that are essential for your medical treatment or safety. If you're unable to bathe safely without a shower chair and your doctor provides a written prescription for it, there's a chance that Medicare might cover it as DME.

Types of Shower Chairs and Medicare Coverage

Shower chairs come in all shapes and sizes, from simple stools to fully equipped shower commodes. In general, Medicare is more likely to cover complex, specialized equipment like shower commodes for individuals with severe mobility restrictions.

Navigating the Process for Medicare Coverage

Getting a shower chair covered by Medicare can be a tricky process, but it's not impossible. Here are the steps to maximize your chances:

  1. Visit Your Doctor: Your doctor must confirm that the shower chair is medically necessary for your health and safety.
  2. Obtain a Prescription: If your doctor agrees, they will write a prescription for the chair.
  3. Select a Medicare-approved DME Supplier: It's important to buy your shower chair from a supplier approved by Medicare. (The OasisSpace Shower Chair is not currently approved by Medicare, but we are working hard to change this.)
  4. File a Medicare Claim: The final step is to file a claim with Medicare, attaching your doctor's prescription and the receipt from your DME supplier.

The Potential Costs of Shower Chairs with Medicare

If Medicare approves your shower chair as DME, you will typically pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies.

Medicare Advantage Plans and Shower Chairs

Some Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) offer broader coverage for items not traditionally covered under Medicare Part B, including shower chairs. It's always worth checking with your plan provider.

FAQs About Medicare and Shower Chairs

1. Does Medicare cover shower chairs?

In most cases, Medicare does not cover shower chairs as they are deemed "convenience items". However, exceptions exist if the chair is prescribed as medically necessary.

2. How can I get Medicare to cover my shower chair?

For Medicare to cover your shower chair, your doctor must prescribe it as medically necessary for your health and safety. You must then purchase the chair from a Medicare-approved DME supplier and file a claim.

3. How much will I pay for a shower chair under Medicare?

If Medicare covers your shower chair, you'll typically pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, after the Part B deductible is met.

4. Can Medicare Advantage Plans cover shower chairs?

Yes, some Medicare Advantage Plans offer broader coverage for items like shower chairs.

5. Can I appeal if Medicare denies coverage for my shower chair?

Yes, you can appeal if Medicare denies coverage for your shower chair. It's advisable to have your doctor provide more specific documentation regarding your need for the chair.

6. Can I use other insurance to cover shower chairs if Medicare doesn't?

Yes, you can explore other insurance options, such as Medicaid or private insurance, which might offer coverage for shower chairs.

7. Does Medicare cover OasisSpace shower chairs?

OasisSpace Shower Chair is not currently approved by Medicare, but we are working hard to change this.


Understanding whether or not Medicare covers shower chairs can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. But don't throw in the towel just yet!

With the correct guidance from your physician and thorough research, you might just navigate this labyrinth successfully. In the end, the safety and ease a shower chair provides can be well worth the effort.

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