An Exception to The Rule
With that being said, in rare cases, Medicare will reimburse older adults for their walk-in bathtub. However, there is a process to get the reimbursement.
For Medicare to consider reimbursement, you must have a medical prescription from a healthcare provider. The prescription needs to include exactly why you need the walk-in tub and what features you need with it.
For example, I had a client who needed a leg amputated, meaning he could no longer climb into a tub without assistance. This client got a prescription from his primary healthcare physician for a walk-in bathtub, which allowed him to install the tub and receive subsequent reimbursement from Medicare.
Still, he didn’t need one with all the bells and whistles, such as air jets or whirlpool features. Rather, he needed a basic bathtub with a door to get in and out. Medicare will make you prove why you need the extra features, so keep this in mind when picking out the tub.
It’s also important to note, Medicare does not pay upfront for the tub. Instead, they compensate in the form of a reimbursement and the reimbursement isn’t guaranteed. There have been times when clients of mine think they could get reimbursed, but once they submit their reimbursement claim, Medicare denied it, and they were stuck paying for the walk-in tub out of pocket.
FYI: Although a prescription does not guarantee reimbursement from Medicare, failure to obtain one ensures that you won’t receive reimbursement.