Will Medicare Pay for a Walk in Tub?

Will Medicare Pay for a Walk-in Tub?

It’s estimated that 375 Americans get injured every day in the shower or bathtub, and one-third of those injuries are severe to require a hospital visit.

This lead to one of the most asked questions, “does Medicare pay for a walk-in tub?” Regrettably, the answer to that is NO!

The Medicare Policy does not consider walk-in tubs as durable medical equipment. Therefore, Medicare will not contribute to the cost of installation nor will they cater for the price of a walk-in tub.

There are Slim Chances of Getting Financial Support with Medicare

However, there are rare situations where Medicare does offer financial assistance. But the support comes in the form of reimbursement. For this to occur, the tub would have been prescribed as an absolute medical necessity.

There should be a medical diagnosis to prove the beneficiary’s need. The prescription should outline the reasons why a walk-in tub is necessary, and the specific features required of the equipment.

However, this does not guarantee that Medicare will provide any financial assistance. The best thing you can do is to buy the tub, submit the claim, and hope for the best. Even if Medicare helps financially, you will only get a reimbursement.

It, therefore, means that you need to be prepared financially to cater for the full cost and installation. Bathing is a crucial part of taking care of our bodies. If more seniors request the walk-in tub reimbursements, Medicare policy might change.

Medicaid Might Offer Your Financial Assistance

Medicaid is more likely to give seniors financial support for the full cost of the walk-in-tub, including installation. Medicaid policies vary from state to state since the service is not a single federal program.

Therefore, you might find hundreds of various set rules governing Medicaid program on the purchase and installation of a walk-in tub. For example, Colorado has a Disabled Persons and Elderly Blind Waiver that caters for specialized medical devices and environmental accessibility modifications.

The Medicaid in California has special programs for infants, pregnant women, nursing home care as well as for the assisted living. But these programs don’t pay for a walk-in tub.

Every state offers different Medicaid HCBS waivers. You should, therefore, examine the benefits provided by Medicaid and see they can pay for durable medical equipment.

Other Financial Assistance for Walk in Tubs

If you don’t get financial assistance for walk-in tub from Medicare or Medicaid programs, do not despair. There are several programs that may help you pay for a walk-in tub. However, such programs might not be necessarily available to everyone.

Some states have non-Medicaid programs which offer financial assistance for the elderly which pays for home modifications like walk-in tubs.

The U.S Department of Agriculture has a grant program that helps low income, seniors, and residents of rural areas to make home modifications to support the aging population.

Sometimes, non-profit organizations have community programs which offset the walk-in tub installation cost.

Anyone can use a power wheelchair or sleep in a hospital bed. If this logic is applied, then walk-in tubs need to be upgraded to durable medical equipment. A walk-in tub can significantly reduce the injuries, especially for seniors and help them live a peaceful life while enjoying a great shower.

What is a Walk-in Bathtub?

With a low threshold design for easy access, a walk-in bathtub allows users a safer entry and exit than with traditional bathtubs.

Water-tight doors allow you to walk right into the tub sit down and perform your cleansing ritual with little to no risk of a slip and fall accident.

Handicapped bathtubs eliminate the need for shower chairs, shower benches, and risky bathtub transfers.

Almost all the walk-in tubs contain a seating area with faucet controls conveniently positioned to reach while seated. Some even come equipped with water jets similar to those found in a Jacuzzi.

The units are specifically designed for the elderly or those with disabilities who have trouble climbing in and out of a conventional tub. These units are built with ADA bathroom requirements for safety including safety grab bars, a waterproof door system, and quick drain methods.

10 Reasons Why You Should Own a Walk in Bathtub Even If Medicare Won’t Pay for Itwill medicare help pay for a walk in tub

Walk in bathtubs are a gift that technology has given us setting a higher bar for the ultimate bath experience. Here are ten reasons why you deserve a walk in bathtub even if medicare or your private insurance won’t pay for it.

  1. You may have had a bathtub accident or came close to having one. You definitely heard of someone having an accident. It is something that you will no longer dread when taking a bath in a walk in tub. Health and safety are the primary reason for the innovation of the walk in tub feature.
  2. The walk in is set to be the default bath tub of the future. Walk in tubs are typically loaded with features that allow spa baths. Jet sprays, foot massages and aromatherapy are the order of the day.Your muscles will thank you.
  3. Owning a walk in bathtub means you can now comfortably fit in two people without compromising the bath experience. Perfect for spouses who both prefer a bath to a shower.
  4. The walk in bath will be enjoyably used by people of every build and age in comfort. Its height makes it deep enough for different preferences. Guests will be impressed and hang around a little longer.
  5. Your bathroom also comes in handy for disabled persons should you have one in the family or a visitor.
  6. They are not only good for use in your homes but also in hotels, spas, hospitals, retirement homes and psychiatric institutions. They make it easier to assist invalids, the elderly and the mentally challenged if you run such properties.
  7. You can get your pets and kids cleaned up with the same amount of luxury. There will be no mess and spills because of the deep set tub.
  8. Having a walk in tub immediately raises the property value of a house you are trying to sell. Buyers will simply dream of taking a relaxing bath after seeing it.
  9. If it’s any consolation for those who always leave the tap dripping, it will take longer before it spills to the floor.
  10. On the whole, it is a fitting that will probably stay on until or after retirement. It is good value for money.Walk in tubs are lots of fun so brace yourself. A daily dose of spa treatment is what they promise and deliver. Owning one says a lot about your concern for health, safety and your love for convenience.

Most Standout Features of a Walk-in Tub

The reason why walk-in tubs are gaining a lot of popularity is that they are loaded with features that offer utmost comfort, safety, convenience, and ease. By understanding these features in any walk-in tubs, you would know how exactly they can be beneficial for you and how you can buy the best one. So, here are some typical features that will be available to you in the walk-in tubs.

Quick Drain Systems

After you have finished bathing, the quick drain systems present in the walk-in tubs can drain out the water immediately. It can allow you to clean up the walk-in tubs immediately after your bath. Besides, it also helps in completely eliminating the risk of getting entrapped in tubs due to drain failure.

Fast-Fill Taps

The next archetypical feature of walk-in tubs is the fast-fill tap. As soon as you enter into your tub and push the water tap, it ensures that the tub gets filled in easily and in a faster way. This ensures the fastest delivery of water in the walk-in tubs. The kind of handle can be chosen as per your needs, but overall the Fast-Fill taps can work effectively for your walk-in tubs.

Easy Door Closure Mechanism

The walk-in tubs is usually meant for those who want luxury, convenience or ease. The easy door closure mechanisms enable you to get complete ease.

The doors can easily close either inward or outward, which solely depends on the choice of walk-in tubs you have made. But the door closure mechanisms are simpler and convenient.

Some of the walk-in tubs also comes equipped with the palm pads which are easy to press, thus adding to the ease of opening the door closure. Fortunately, no latches are connected, which means that you can get complete ease.

Easy Way-In or Way-Out

Walk in tubs provide ease of getting in or outside the bathing area.  These bathtubs are low-floor and so, you don’t need to jump over the bathing tub. You can simply walk in easily to enjoy a pleasurable bathing experience. Also, this makes your bathing experience absolutely enjoyable and safe.

All these features are being provided to you by the walk-in tubs. These features can make your bathing simpler and convenient as well as safe. There can be different kinds of walk-in tubs available for handicapped and you can check the markets for special features too.

Choosing a Walk in Bathtub

Available space and layout of your bathroom is the most important consideration and also width of all door frames that the new unit will have to pass through to get to the available space.

Plumbing fixtures and drain locations are another important consideration. Also, If the handicap bathtub has a jet system where will you pull the power from?

All units will have to run through a GFI receptacle, and be wired according to your local building codes.

Walk in Bathtubs can be purchased with inward swing or an outward swinging door. An outward swinging door system is the most popular. Reasons being you do not have to maneuver around the door once your in the tub.

The next decision is whether to purchase a tub with an inward-swinging door or one with an outward-swinging door. If Contemplating purchasing a outward swinging door system you must carefully measure the bathroom space. There has to be room for the door to swing open inside the bathroom.

Consider your needs

It is vital to understand that walk in tubs are not very cheap and so, it is crucial that you should understand about your needs. Whether your needs are long-term or short-term needs to be understood so that you do not waste a lot of money. In case you are only searching for the home décor or improvement solutions, using the existing drains as well as faucets can be good enough. Replacement of an older tub with the walk in tubs can be a great option.

Consider the person

It is important to consider the person you are buying walk in tubs for. If you have someone who cannot lie down in the usual tub or also, who cannot walk or stand independently, you should buy walk in tubs. The walk in tubs usually come with grab bars as well as non-slipping flooring. This can allow a person in being safe in the walk in tubs. It can especially be very good for the senior citizens as well as handicapped people.

Consider the features

Another important thing to be considered for buying the walk in tubs is the features. Some of the walk in tubs comes with non-slipping coating, which can provide you complete safety. These kinds of walk in tubs can enable you to maintain your balance and greatly reduce risks of accidents. For those who need even more convenience, you can choose pivoting seats which allow easy moving between the tub and the wheelchair. It can be especially good for the handicapped people.

Consider the size

The walk in tubs can come in varied sizes. It is therefore important that you should consider about the right size of the tub. Size is of great importance. If you are buying the larger walk in tubs, you would probably not have an issue. However, for those who are planning to buy the smaller walk in tubs, there might be some sort of problem.

All these things or factors should be always kept in mind before buying the walk in tubs.

Installing a Walk in bathtub can be complicated, so unless you are adapt at plumbing and home improvement projects, I recommended that you hire a licensed professional. But, with that being said these units have removable panels with very easy access to plumbing and drains, and are also relatively light.

Installing the units are not out of the skill level of a good homeowner handyman. I have included a UTube video link to help with your decision and research.

How to Extend the Life of Your Walk-in Bath Tubs

The habit one practices when cleaning and caring for the walk in bathtub determines how long the tub maintains its structure and good finish. A simple cleaning routine by seniors can extend the durability and maintain the safety of a walk in tub. Often time’s manufactures give their recommendations on how to clean the bathtub without damaging the finish of the tub.

Factors determining how you clean your tub


There are two major materials used in making of walk in bathtubs; these are the acrylic or fiberglass. The material is a determinant on how you clean the tub.

Fiberglass which has polyester resin sprayed to hold the glass particles. Because the fiberglass is brittles and porous it can become dull and discolor fast.

Due to this nature it is advisable to use cleaning agents that are not too harsh because they can easily remove the gel coating rendering the tub a dull look. This does not mean that one should not clean on a daily basis because of the fear of the tub discoloring. Cleaning the fiberglass tub daily is recommended to avoid staining and discoloring by soap and/or water.

Acrylic tubs are made of a heated mold which is vacuum formed to have a waterproof membrane. Due its non-porous nature it is easy to clean. The tub should be cleaned daily especially because if any soap sediments are on the tub they can lead to slips and serious falls.

Just like the fiberglass, non-abrasive cleaning agents should be used to protect the finish of the tub. When abrasive cleaning agents are used on acrylic tubs it can cause scratches and cause some parts of the tub to rust. This destroys the quality of the tub.


The tub is meant for showering it is in contact with water all the time, even when you are cleaning it you use water. The type of water you use at home is a determinant of the durability of your tub.

There two types of water; the hard water and soft water and they have different minerals which cause different stains and deposits on bathtubs.

Knowing the type of water you are using is important when choosing a cleaning agent according to the deposits and stains that are caused by the water. Ask for help from the salesperson and read the label of the cleaning agent and be sure nothing will ruin the finish and color of the tub.

The walk in tubs experience the wear and tear which is normal and some manufacturers offer warranties on this. The warranties are different depending on the different manufactures some offer 1 year, 5 years or 10 years warranty on walk in tubs and the components.

Note: Bath soaps/ shower gels/ cleaning agents also deposit sediments on tubs which can be dangerous for seniors especially if the deposits are not cleaned well and thoroughly. If the shower gel/ soap or cleaning agents are too slippery especially when the tub is wet consider using another product to avoid slips and falls which can be fatal.

Leave a Comment