As we age, many of us begin to think about making our homes more senior-friendly. One common modification is to install a walk-in shower, which can make bathing safer and easier for those with mobility issues.
But will Medicare help pay for such a renovation? The answer, unfortunately, is no. Medicare does not cover the cost of modifying your home, even if it’s for a safety reason. However, there are other ways to finance a walk-in shower, such as through private health insurance or Medicaid.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the different ways you can pay for a walk-in shower, as well as some tips on how to make the process easier.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 or older, people under 65 with certain disabilities, and people of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
Medicare has four parts: Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Medical Insurance), Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans), and Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage).
You can get Parts A and B by enrolling in a Medicare plan. Most people don’t pay a monthly premium for Part A because they or a spouse have worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.
If you don’t have Part A, you can buy it if you’re covered under Parts B and/or D. Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care.
Part B covers doctor’s services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home health services, and some preventive services.
Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B. If you decide not to enroll in Part B when first eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare.
Part C is an alternative way to receive your Parts A and B benefits. It’s offered by private insurance companies that contract with Medicare. You must have Parts A and B to join a Medicare Advantage Plan. Not all plans are available in all areas.
What are the Eligibility Requirements for Medicare?
To be eligible for Medicare, you must:
-Be age 65 or older
-Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
-Have been legally entitled to Medicare Part A coverage for at least four months
-Not currently be receiving social security benefits
What Does Medicare Cover?
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) covers medically necessary services and preventive services to help maintain your health and prevent illness. Examples of covered services include:
-Inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility
-Outpatient care including doctor visits, diagnostic tests, and certain treatments
-Mental health care
-Certain home health services
Preventive services are also covered under Medicare, which can help you avoid illness or detect problems early. These services include:
-Yearly wellness visits with your doctor to create a personalized prevention plan based on your current health and risk factors
-Screenings for cancer, diabetes, and other conditions
How Much Does Medicare Cost?
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) has no monthly premium for most people, but there is a deductible for Part A services. For those who choose to enroll in Part B, the monthly premium is currently $104.90.
There are also costs associated with Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D). The cost of these plans depends on the specific plan you choose and may vary each year.
In general, you can expect to pay the following out-of-pocket costs for Medicare coverage:
· Part A deductible: $1,288 per benefit period
· Part B deductible: $147 per year
· Part B coinsurance: 20% of the cost of covered services
· Part C & D premiums: Varies depending on the plan chosen
· Part C & D copayments/coinsurance: Varies depending on the plan chosen
How to Apply for Medicare
When you turn 65, you are eligible for Medicare. You can enroll in Medicare through the Social Security Administration or online through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. If you are not receiving Social Security benefits, you will need to actively enroll in Medicare.
You can enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and/or Part B (medical insurance) during the following times:
* Initial Enrollment Period: This is a 7-month period that includes the month you turn 65, the 3 months before your birthday, and the 3 months after your birthday. If you enroll during this time, your coverage will start on the first day of the month that you turn 65.
* General Enrollment Period: This period runs from January 1 – March 31 each year. If you enroll during this time, your coverage will start on July 1st of that year.
Once you have enrolled in Medicare, you can add on additional coverage such as prescription drug coverage (Part D), or a Medigap policy to help cover costs not covered by Original Medicare.
Although Medicare may help pay for some of the costs associated with a walk in shower, it is important to remember that coverage will vary depending on your individual circumstances. Be sure to speak with your Medicare representative to get an accurate estimate of what costs could be covered. In the meantime, consider these tips to help make your walk in shower as safe and comfortable as possible.